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!

Z-1

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!

9k=-3

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

The Shrinking Hubby’s Gluten-free Chewy Choc-Chip Cookies

The Shrinking Hubby’s Gluten-free Chewy Choc-Chip Cookies

Well I put the question to a vote on my facebook page and it was a resounding plea for the recipe for my gluten-free, chewy choc-chip cookies  – so here you go!

Enjoy XX

makes about 15-18 cookies

INGREDIENTS

3 cups (350g) almond meal

50g coconut oil

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 organic free-range eggs

. cup (85g) medjool dates, pitted

. cup best quality dark choc chips

(or chopped organic dark chocolate)

PREPARATION

Pre heat your oven to 180ÅãC/350ÅãF.

REGULAR METHOD

Blitz all ingredients except for choc chips in a food processor until well combined.

Using a wooden spoon stir the choc chips through the mixture until spread evenly.

THERMOMIX METHOD

Place the almond meal, coconut oil, bicarb, vanilla, eggs and dates into the mixing bowl and blitz speed 7-10 for 40 seconds or until well blended. Add the choc chips and mix reverse, speed 5 for about 15 seconds until well combined.

TO ASSEMBLE

Using wet hands, roll 1 tablespoon of the mixture into balls, place on lined baking tray and flatten with your palm. Ensure they are spread out as they will get bigger while cooking. Bake for about 10 minutes or until golden brown, allow to cool (if they last that long!) and enjoy.

Note

To make these cookies refined-sugar free you can use a good quality sugar free chocolate. I like the brand that is sweetened with stevia.

You can use 50g (2oz) butter instead of the coconut oil if you don’t need to keep this dairy free.

GF RSF DF TH

 

The Shrinking Hubby’s Hearty Vegetable Soup

The Shrinking Hubby’s Hearty Vegetable Soup

This has got to be one of the healthiest recipes I have ever created!  It is SO full of exceptional nutrients and as a bonus wonderful flavours.  I love making this at least once a week.

I have been making this in my Thermomix – however I have included instructions if you don’t have a Thermomix below.

The vegetables I’ve listed below are the ones I usually use however feel free to use whatever you have on hand or prefer to use.  Think broccoli, silverbeet, cabbage.  The asparagus is a fantastic way to help out with bloating due to water retention.  I love including asparagus in this soup!

The Shrinking Hubby’s Hearty Vegetable Soup

What you will need:

  • A knob of ginger (as big as you dare – it can be quite spicy!)
  • A knob of fresh Turmeric
  • A red chilli (if you like it hot)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic (or 1-2 teaspoons good quality minced garlic)
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 Zucchini
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • About a cup of diced pumpkin (or sweet potato)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1-2 tomatoes
  • 1/4 head of cauliflower
  • 1-2 Tablespooons Thermomix Vegetable Stock or good quality vegetable (or chicken) stock
  • 1 tablespoon butter (or ghee)
  • Olive Oil (or coconut oil)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cayenne pepper for serving

How to pull it together:

If using a Thermomix:

Place garlic, turmeric, ginger and chilli into the mixing bowl and mix speed 7 for about 5 seconds or until evenly chopped.  Scrape down bowl.  Peel and quarter a brown onion and add to the mixture.  Chop speed 5 for 3 seconds.  Scrape down bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon good quality organic butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  (you can substitute ghee or coconut oil here too).  Cook 100 degrees, speed 2-3 for 3 minutes.

Add the rest of the vegetables.  Chop speed 7 for 5 seconds or until roughly evenly chopped.

Add about 300 grams of water (or enough to cover the vegetables) and the vegetable stock (or add about 300 grams pre-cooked vegetable or chicken or beef stock).

Cook for 20 minutes, 100 degrees, speed 1.  When cooked, blitz speed 10 for 1 minute.

Season with sea salt and cracked pepper and serve with a sprinkling of Cayenne Pepper.

Without a Thermomix

Blitz garlic, turmeric, ginger, chilli and onion in a food processor (or finely chop if you don’t have a processor).  Heat a large stock pot and add butter and olive oil (or ghee, or coconut oil if you prefer).  Add the garlic mixture to the pan, season with some sea salt (to stop it burning) and stir for a few minutes until softened and fragrant.

Add the chopped vegetables (whatever you are using) and toss until well combined. ( you could even blitz in your food processor if you wish before adding to the pan)

Cover with water or stock, bring to a boil and simmer 30- 40 minutes until well cooked.

Using either a hand held blender or your food processor, blend the soup until well pureed.

Season with sea salt and cracked pepper and serve with a sprinkling of Cayenne Pepper.

 

Enjoy!

Lamb, Roast Vegetable and Pesto Salad

Lamb, Roast Vegetable and Pesto Salad

Lamb, Roast Vegetable and Pesto Salad

serves 4 (as a main)

This is such a tasty meal!  If you don’t want to use meat it is delicious without the lamb as a vegetarian main meal or zesty side dish.

What you will need:

  • 500 grams (1.5 pounds) diced lamb marinated for as long as possible (ideally overnight but 1-2 hours is fine) in the marinade listed below
  • 1 eggplant (aubergine) diced
  • 1 zucchini (courgette) diced
  • 1 punnet (150 grams or 5 ounces) button mushrooms halved
  • ¼ jap pumpkin (about 1 ½ cups) diced
  • Olive oil for roasting
  • Extra freshly squeezed lemon juice for serving (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pesto (see recipe below or you can find it on my website here.)  It’s worth making your own – this has a delicious kick of lemon that goes beautifully with this salad.
  • Baby spinach leaves
  • Feta Cheese (optional)

For the Lamb Marinade

Shake or whisk the following ingredients together:

  • Juice of a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove (or 1 teaspoon good quality minced garlic)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste

How to pull it together:

Toss the eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin and mushrooms in a little olive oil, sea salt and cracked pepper and roast in the oven for about 40 minutes or until well cooked to your liking.

When the veggies have about 10 minutes to go (i.e. after about 30 minutes) start cooking the lamb until browned.  (you can either pan-fry or barbeque the lamb).  It is best to do this in batches so it doesn’t stew in the marinade.  When ready, toss with the roasted veggies and add a couple of tablespoons pesto and stir through.

Serve on a bed of baby spinach leaves and top with some chopped feta cheese (if using)

If you like you can add an extra squeeze of lemon before serving.

The Shrinking Hubby’s Pesto

  • 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.

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.

Enjoy!

Page 2 of 41234

Receive regular updates from The Shrinking Hubby

We'll send you recipes, offers & other fun stuff, and we'll never share your information.

You have Successfully Subscribed!