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

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

Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon, Olives and Capers

Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon, Olives and Capers

I’ve talked about the lovely ladies from The Monday Morning Cooking Club before when I shared their delicious tomato and eggplant bake (AKA Bubba’s Eggplant) from their first cookbook here and their delicious recipe for their Shallot Ginger and Sesame crusted salmon here.   I was so excited to get my hands on a copy of their recently published sequel called ‘The Feast Goes On’.  This beautiful book has plenty more stunning recipes inside that I cannot wait to try.

I love that each recipe has been handpicked from hundreds submitted – so you know that if it makes it into the cookbook it is going to be worth making!  Not all the recipes are clean, but there are several that are and I am looking forward to getting to know this book as much as I enjoyed the first.  You can check out the Monday Morning Cooking Club’s webpage here and follow them on Facebook here.

This recipe was the first one I made from the new book and it was a real crowd pleaser.  I have altered it to include tomatoes and lemon, which gives the dish a much different flavour, but I loved the changes and I hope you do too!  (You can double it quite easily if you need to feed a larger group or if (like me) you want to freeze some for another night when you don’t have the time or inclination to cook)

Baked Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes, Lemon, Olives and Capers

(adapted from The Feast Goes On, Monday Morning Cooking Club)

What you will need:

  • 1 chicken jointed (I ask my butcher to cut a whole chicken into 8 pieces for me)
  • 50 grams (1/4 cup) salted baby capers (well rinsed and drained)
  • 75 grams (½ cup) pitted Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 lemon sliced into rounds about ½ cm/¼ inch
  • 350 grams (1 punnet) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 unpeeled garlic cloves
  • 250 mls (1 cup) white wine (or chicken stock if you prefer)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 sprigs thyme (or lemon thyme and/or fresh oregano work well too)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

How to bring it together:

Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celcius (400 Fahrenheit).

Line a large roasting dish with some baking paper.  Lay out the chicken and scatter the capers, olives, garlic and tomatoes on top.  Pour the wine (or stock) and olive oil over the chicken, lay the lemon wedges across the top and scatter the herbs.  Season generously with pepper.

Roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour or until the chicken is golden and the juices run clear when pierced with a knife. If the chicken is not browned enough, turn the oven to the hottest setting for the last 5 minutes.

Enjoy

XX

Pasta-free Spaghetti Bolognese, Zucchini Noodles and Caper and Avocado Salsa

Pasta-free Spaghetti Bolognese, Zucchini Noodles and Caper and Avocado Salsa

One of the things I would like to achieve this year  is a happy balance when it comes to dinner time.   Of course some nights it is too hard to sit down as a family with work commitments, extra curricular activities (ours and theirs) and life in general.  However by by feeding the kids early and then cooking a separate meal for Andrew and I,  I feel that  a) we are missing out on connecting with our kids and b) I am working twice as hard as I need to!   The problem is that Andrew and I really haven’t been eating the same food as our kids.  We love our vegetables and chili and sophisticated flavours and as a rule tend to avoid starchy carbohydrates at night.  They love their simple food such as gluten free pasta, potato and rice. They are also super fussy and likely to turn their noses up at most meals I put in front of them which makes it very frustrating.   So I have decided to create a new section on this website dedicated to family friendly meals that can be adapted to please mum and dads and the kids without too much angst.

First off the rank is my Bolognese (or Bolognaise if that’s the way you spell it!).  I made this sauce the other night (see the recipe below).  I don’t like cooking bolognese in my Thermomix but I find the Thermomix is brilliant for chopping the onions and garlic and getting the vegetables to the exact consistency that I like.  I have noted where I used my Thermomix below.

For the children I serve it on top of gluten free pasta with a sprinkling of lactose free cheese (my 5 year old is lactose intolerant).  My 8 year old however tried Parmesan for the first time the other night (not being put off by the smell) and loved it – an excellent surprise!  They say persistence is the key (sigh) …

I served ours on a bed of zucchini noodles (see how I make my zucchini noodles below).  I didn’t even heat the noodles, I just topped with the hot sauce and then with an avocado and caper salsa (see below).

The Shrinking Hubby’s Bolognese

This makes an enormous batch of bolognese sauce.  Enough to feed a family for a good 3-4 nights.  I freeze some in family sized portions and some in ice cube trays for a quick mid-week kids dinner on the fly.  Don’t be alarmed if it seems like it will be too watery, it thickens up beautifully over the cooking time.

What you will need:

  • 1 Kg grass-fed beef mince
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic (or  teaspoons of good quality organic minced garlic – I like the Spiral brand)
  • 1 largish brown onion
  • 2-3 cups vegetables – whatever you have in the fridge really.  I like to use carrots, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli and mushrooms depending on what I have.
  • 2 bottles of organic passata sauce (I use 690 gram jars or about 25 ounces).  *Passata is a tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • Dried herbs e.g Italian herb mix (there are many available), paprika, dried oregano
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

1.  Chop the onions and garlic (if using a Thermomix throw onion and garlic in and blitz for 3 seconds speed 5).

2. Finely chop the vegetables, or place the vegetables in a food processor and blitz until chopped to your liking.  (if using a Thermomix throw veggies in and chop for 5-8 seconds speed 5-6 depending on how finely you like them chopped.

How to pull it together:

Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot.  When oil is hot add the onions and garlic and a generous sprinkle of sea salt, turn down the heat and saute for about 5 minutes stirring frequently.   When onion is well cooked, add the meat and cook until browned.  When meat is cooked, add the vegetables and 1/2 cup of red wine (if using), 1/2 cup red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup tomato paste.  Stir through until well combined.

Add both bottles of passata.  Fill the empty bottles with water and add both bottles of water at the same time (it will seem like a lot of sauce but will reduce during the cooking time).  Add a generous amount of herbs (italian herb mix, paprika, dried oregano) and 2-3 bay leaves).  Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour covered.  Stir from time to time adding salt to taste if required.

You can serve with pasta or zucchini noodles topped with fresh parmesan.

How to prepare your Zucchini Noodles

What you will need:

  • 3 zucchinis/courgettes per person
  • Sea salt
  • Olive oil
  • a vegetable spiraliser

Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser.  Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt 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 can shrink quite a bit.  

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 and my Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles here.

Caper, Avocado and Tomato Salsa (serves 2)

Combine in a small bowl 1 tablespoon salted baby capers (well rinsed), 1/2 avocado diced, 1/4 cucumber diced, 1/2 tomato diced.  Toss with juice of 1 lime, sea salt and pepper.

Salmon with Pesto Zucchini ‘Noodles’

Salmon with Pesto Zucchini ‘Noodles’

This dish was seriously tasty and super quick and easy.  I’d been craving pesto spaghetti and this really did the trick without the refined carbs.  My pesto recipe uses lemon juice so the tangy flavour works brilliantly with the salmon, although if you didn’t want the fish you could have a bowl of the Pesto Zucchini noodles on their own too!

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.

Salmon with Pesto Zucchini Noodles

Serves 2

What you will need:

2 Salmon fillets

About 1 cup of the Shrinking Hubby’s Pesto (link here or see below) (you may wish to use more or less depending on your taste)

4 Zucchinis (courgettes) topped and tailed

Olive oil, salt and pepper

Lemon wedges (if using) to serve

How to bring it together

Create the zucchini noodles using a vegetable spiraliser.  Place noodles in a colander, sprinkle liberally with good quality sea salt and drizzle with a splash of olive oil.  Toss and let sit for about 30 minutes.

When ready to prepare the meal, you can either barbeque or pan fry the salmon (brush with a little olive oil, season with sea salt and pepper).

Meanwhile heat the pesto in a fry pan or wok, when warm, add the noodles and toss until they are coated and the noodles are heated.

Place the noodles on a plate and top with the salmon.  Sprinkle with some chilli and serve with a squeeze of lemon if desired.

Enjoy!

The Shrinking Hubby’s 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 (I used my Thermomix) and process until finely chopped.  Gradually add the olive oil while the motor is running in a thin stream until well combined.

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