Roast Veggie and Macadamia Pesto Salad

Roast Veggie and Macadamia Pesto Salad

This is a seriously tasty yet ridiculously simple dish to throw together.  Perfect as an accompaniment to roast chicken, salmon, steak or even on its own.  This is a great one to make a big batch of on the weekend for weekday lunches.  The pesto (which is dairy free – although you wouldn’t know it!) is also wonderful tossed through zoodles, or coated on salmon and thrown on the BBQ.

Have you got your copy of my new cookbook yet?  Over 50 gluten free and refined-sugar free recipes (many which are dairy free and thermomix friendly) that I have created to feed my family during our 10 year journey to help my husband shed an amazing 60 kilos.  So far the feedback has been wonderful and I am so proud of it!  If you like the idea of delicious, simple and healthy food that the whole family will love you should head over and check it out!  www.theshrinkinghubby.com/buy-book – thank you for your support 🙂

Roast Veggie and Macadamia Pesto Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine)
  • 1 leek
  • 1 punnet (about 1 ½ cups of button mushrooms)
  • ½ Butternut pumpkin/squash
  • 3 Tablespoons of The Shrinking Hubby’s Macadamia Pesto (see below)
  • Olive oil
  • A few handfuls of salad greens (e.g. rocket, baby spinach)
  • Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper

Method:

Chop the eggplant, pumpkin, mushrooms and leeks into bite sized pieces.  Toss through the pesto and lay on a baking tray.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Bake for about 45 minutes at 180 degrees celcius (250 degrees Fahrenheit).

Toss the roasted veggies through the salad greens and serve warm or room temperature.

The Shrinking Hubby’s Macadamia Pesto

The macadamia nuts give this pesto a creamy twist ensuring you won’t even notice it’s dairy free!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup macadamia nuts, toasted (you can dry-fry them in a pan – just keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!)
  • 1 bunch (1½ cups) of fresh basil leaves
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves
  • ½ -1 red chilli, seeded
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Method:

Add all ingredients to your food processor and pulse until you reach your desired consistency. If using your Thermomix, add all ingredients to your mixing bowl and mix speed 6 for 3 seconds.

The Shrinking Hubby’s Healthy Food We Love To Eat – Cookbook Now Available!

The Shrinking Hubby’s Healthy Food We Love To Eat – Cookbook Now Available!

Healthy Food We Love To Eat is my first cookbook and is the result of a decade of countless hours spent in the kitchen experimenting with recipes to support my husband Andrew in losing an enormous 60 kilos (130 pounds). Our whole family has permanently embraced a healthy lifestyle and this cookbook includes over 50 of our favourite recipes.

 

I am so proud of this book which has been beautifully designed and photographed.  It presents in a simple and easy to follow format for both Thermomix and non-Thermomix users alike.

All my recipes are gluten free, refined sugar free and many are dairy free.  The simplicity of the recipes will have you and your family enjoying delicious flavours and some of your favourite foods without feeling deprived – all while enjoying the added energy and vitality that better food choices bring.  Healthy Breakfasts, Vibrant Smoothies, Hearty Soups, My Favourite Salads, Healthy Meals for Lunch and Dinner and Sweet Treats provide something for everyone . . . click here to buy the book now and be inspired to get into the kitchen and start creating delicious meals that are perfect for you and your family!

As a very special offer for a limited time, I am offering free shipping throughout Australia. Just use the code MOTHERSDAY at the checkout.

Happy Cooking!

Love, Alix

XX

 

Healthy Anzac Biscuits

Healthy Anzac Biscuits

I must admit, I find it hard to go past a chewy and golden Anzac bicky!  I have converted the traditional Anzac into a healthier recipe – mainly for the kids (but I might have had to taste test one or two!) – and I reckon these are just as delicious as the original version.  I hope you enjoy them!

Healthy Anzac Biscuits

Makes approximately 20 biscuits

Ingredients:

  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • ¾ cup desiccated coconut
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 125 grams (1 stick) butter
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tablespoons hot water

Method:

Set the oven to 175 degrees and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

Mix the oats, almond meal, coconut, chia seeds, and coconut sugar in a large bowl.

In a small saucepan on the stove melt the butter and the maple syrup until well combined.  Add the bicarbonate of soda to the hot water and mix together – add to the butter mixture.  Add this butter mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well.

Using your hands form rough balls (about 1 tablespoon of mixture), mould together with your fingers and flatten into cookie shapes.

Bake in a 175 degree oven for 10-12 minutes until golden brown.  Let stand in the baking tray for about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  You may need to re-mould them if they fall apart straight from the oven but they should firm up and set while they cool down.

Enjoy xx

 

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 Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

The Shrinking Hubby’s Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

I love having a batch of homemade sausage rolls in the freezer to give the kids on those nights that you really don’t feel like cooking.  I’ve always made my own filling – thus ensuring they are full of a range of veggies, and organic, grass-fed mince.  I used to cook them with a store bought (butter) puff pastry until I realised that my kids reacted badly to gluten.  I then starting experimenting with making my own gluten free pastry after realising that it is impossible to buy a gluten free pastry that isn’t made with margarine or vegetable shortening – both which I avoid like the plague.   I won’t lie to you, gluten free pastry is not easy, it’s very fiddly and can be quite messy, but to offer my kids their favourite dinner knowing that it won’t cause them health problems is worth it!  (and as long as you manage to hide them from the grown ups these sausage rolls are a great freezer staple to have on hand!)

The recipe below makes enough filling for 3 lots of the pastry quantities below, so if you prefer, you can freeze the filling in batches to pull out and make a batch at a time as required.

I have made these both with and without a Thermomix, and I have included both versions below.

The Shrinking Hubby’s Gluten Free Sausage Rolls

To Make The Gluten Free Puff Pastry

What you will need:

  • 90 grams ice cubes
  • 180 grams cold unsalted butter
  • 200 grams gluten free plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

Thermomix friendly method

Place the ice and butter into the mixing bowl and blitz 15 seconds, speed 10.  Scrape down bowl.

Add the flour and salt and mix 5 seconds, speed 5.  Scrape down bowl. (the mixture will resemble crumbs – this is normal)

Turn dial to closed position and knead for 2 minutes.

Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Non Thermomix method

Place the ice and butter into a food processor and blitz until well combined (careful to stop before the ice melts too much).  Scrape down the bowl.

Add the flour and salt and mix again for a good few seconds until well combined.  (the mixture will resemble crumbs – this is normal).

Now this is the tricky bit.  You need to knead the crumbs by hand on a large chopping board.  It will be messy and sticky but persevere and try and get it all into a ball, quickly wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  This is the hardest part but I promise you it will come together and you will achieve a dough that you can use!

To Make The Gluten Free Beef Filling

What you will need:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 peeled carrot
  • 500 grams organic, grass-fed beef mince
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • fresh herbs (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Thermomix friendly method

Add the onion and garlic into the mixing bowl and blitz speed 5 for 5 seconds.  Scrape down bowl.

Add the zucchini and carrot and mix speed 5, 5 seconds.

Add the beef and mix speed 5, 15 seconds.

Add the almond meal, egg, Worcestershire sauce, tamari, tomato paste, salt, pepper and herbs (if using) and mix speed 5, 20 seconds.

Scrape down bowl and mix a further 10 seconds, speed 5 – or until well combined.

Non Thermomix method

Finely chop onion, garlic, carrot and zucchini (or blitz in food processor until you reach your desired texture.)

Add to a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mix well using your hands for best results.

How to pull them together:

Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.

Ok, as I said, using gluten free pastry can be really tricky.  I have made these several times, and honestly rolling them with a rolling pin is sticky and unproductive.  I have found that the easiest way to make them is to take sections of the pastry out of the fridge at a time (I usually do it in thirds) and roll into little balls about 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons each, roll into a snake and flatten into a rectangular shape with your palm.  Pop a dollop of the beef mixture in the centre.  Quickly roll the pastry around to form a sausage roll shape.  (hence the rustic nature of these ones :-))

When you have made all your rolls, whisk an egg in a bowl and paint the egg mixture over the sausage rolls to give them that golden sheen.

Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees) for approximately 30 minutes or until well browned.  If you intend to freeze you can do so and then reheat them in the oven when you are ready to serve them.

Enjoy, and if you stumble across any tips for making the preparation of these any easier – please feel free to share your wisdom in the comments!

 

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