Ingredients: 1 chopped swede, 1 cup of chopped celery, 1 head of garlic, 1 handful of almonds, half a cup of full cream, 2 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste. Grilled bacon or halloumi to garnish would go down well too.
Steps: Pop the whole garlic head into the oven on 200 degrees celsius and roast for 30 minutes. Tak it out, let cool slightly, peel and pop in the slow-cooker. Add all other ingredients, cook on low for 8-10 hours. Blend in a food processor until smooth and serve!
*use homemade stock of some sort instead of water to add more oomph!
Tastes just like good old fashioned spaghetti and meatballs. A comfort meal at its best! This is is absolutely going to become a regular dinner at our house!
Serves: 4 Time: I got caught up in the moment and I didn’t time… 50 mins??
Ingredients: Olive oil, a chopped onion, a crushed garlic clove, a chopped chilli, a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, about four chopped tomatoes, salt, rosemary, oregano, some bay leaves, ground ginger, pepper. A kilogram of beef mince, a tablespoon of tamari or soy sauce, 2 eggs, about a cup of diced/roughly chopped cheese, salt. Baby spinach. Zucchini, salt. Parmesan cheese.
Steps: Gently heat your olive oil in a wok (or pan… I just love my wok). Add onions, garlic, chilli and salt and sweat until it has nicely softened. Add apple cider vinegar, tomatoes, herbs, ginger and pepper and simmer, stirring, for 10-15 mins until it starts to look saucy. You may need to add a bit of water if there is not enough juice from the tomatoes naturally. Meanwhile, combine meat, eggs, soy sauce, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl, mixing thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Turn off the sauce. Roll meat mixture into balls and plop them into the sauce. Once you’ve done this with all of the mixture, turn heat back on (low), and simmer until all the meat is cooked. You will need to gently turn the meatballs with your wooden spoon from time to time so it all cooks evenly. While the meatballs are cooking, slice zucchini into spaghetti. Put it in a pot with salt and olive oil, add boiling water, and boil for 5 mins. Drain and pop it in a bowl, ready to cover in delicious meatball sauce. If meatball sauce seems runny, just keep cooking it until it reduces to a thicker consistency. Towards the end, add in a couple of cups of baby spinach and stir through. Serve meatballs on top of your zucchini spaghetti, and grate plenty of parmesan cheese on top. Devour.
Ingredients: 1 chopped medium sized leek, 1 chopped brown onion, 1 chopped medium fennel – bulb, stalk, leaves and all, 1 cup of full cream, 2 cups of homemade bone broth or veggie stock, 3 cups of water, a teaspoon of salt, ½ a teaspoon of cardamom, ½ a teaspoon of turmeric. Cream cheese to serve.
Throw it all in the slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours. Once cooked, puree in your food processor in batches and store in jars in the fridge/freezer for easy go-to meals throughout the week! Serve hot with a good dollop of cream cheese. I think the cream cheese is necessary, it makes it! If you want to make your own cream cheese, it is really easy, and here is a good recipe from Sarah Wilson.
Ingredients: 4 lamb shanks, a handful of chopped tomatoes, chopped spring onion, juice of a lemon, about a tablespoon each of cinnamon, ras el hanout, turmeric, ginger and cumin, some chopped fresh chilli to taste, salt, pepper, 1 cup of warm water, a handful of soaked or canned chickpeas.
Steps: Layer the ingredients from first to last in the slow-cooker. Turn ono ‘high’ for 8-10 hours. The longer the better.
Ingredients: Cauliflower (riced in the food processor), macadamia oil, chopped fresh mint, chopped fresh garlic, finely diced cucumber, finely diced zucchini, finely chopped baby spinach, salt and pepper (and any other finely diced veges that you desire!!).
Steps: Fry the ‘riced’ cauliflower and garlic in the macadamia oil in a pan on a medium heat, until just starting to brown. Take it off the heat, add the remaining ingredients, and stir it all up to combine
Yoghurt-Tahini Sauce (not pictured…whoops)
Ingredients: A cup of full fat natural greek yoghurt, some chopped fresh garlic, 2 tablespoons of tahini, finely chopped mint, salt and pepper.
Steps: Mix it all together until smooth and delicious!
Serve the lamb shanks and its juices on top of the tabouli, and dollop some yoghurt-tahini dressing on top. Enjoy!
Ingredients: 1 whole pumpkin chopped into large chunks (leave the skin on, its all good once slow cooked), 1 can of full fat Ayam coconut cream, 1 chopped onion, half a cup on beef stock/bone broth (a good recipe is here by Sarah Wilson (the wonder woman behind ‘I Quit Sugar’ books and website)
Steps: Throw it all in the slow cooker, set to low and cook for 8 hours. Mush it up with a potato masher until smooth and EAT. You’ll feel so warm inside.
*Yummy served with a piece of butter-slathered cloud bread from The Good Life Health’s website.
Ingredients: Chicken breast or thighs. Warm Salad = cauliflower, broccoli, spring onion, salt, sprouted legumes (optional – I used green lentils). Avocado Dressing = 1 avocado, 1 or 2 dollops of greek yoghurt, a few fresh basil leaves, a dollop of hummus, a drizzle of tahini, salt, a hint of cumin, a hint of cinnamon, a squeeze of fresh lemon, pepper.
Steps: Fry the chicken pieces in butter and salt until crispy around the edges. For the Warm Salad: Pop all ingredients in your food processor and blitz into little but chunky bits. Lightly fry, stirring, in your choice of FAT – coconut oil, butter or ghee will all be fabulous. For the Avocado Dressing: Blitz all ingredients in your food processor until well combined and smooth.
Serve the chicken on top of the warm salad and douse with a generous amount of avocado dressing. Enjoy!
Creator’s note: Feel free to add any greens that you love!
Packed with flavour and, of course, nutrients! It is a great dinner if you have things to do, as you just pop it in the oven and let it do its thing.
Serves: 4 Time: 1 hour, mostly hands-off
Ingredients: 1 finely chopped onion, 1 crushed fresh garlic clove, 1 finely chopped chilli, 1 tablespoon of paprika, 1 tablespoon of mustard seeds, 1 tablespoon of wholegrain mustard, 1 teaspoon of turmeric, 1 teaspoon of ground ginger, 1 tablespoon of dried or fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, 1/3 cup grated tasty cheese, 2 eggs, 1 small grated zucchini, 1 grated carrot, 500g of pork mince, 500g of beef mince, salt, pepper.
Steps: Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Really make sure it is all mixed together well. I used a wooden spoon. Transfer the meat mixture to a loaf tin and flatten nicely with your wooden spoon. Bake for about 45 mins at 200 degrees celsius. Let it rest for 10-15 minutes before serving. This will help it to set an make it easier to handle.
We served ours with baked beetroot and steamed broccoli. Mmm mmm!
Curries are delicious first and foremost. When made from real ingredients, they’re also super good for you. They are easy to make. They are cheap to make. And, they are easy to vary depending on what’s in the cupboard. So let’s get started.
I begin all of my curries by sizzling some sliced onions and chopped up garlic in a generous (like, really generous) amount of oil or fat. (I use a good cast-iron pan and a wooden spoon). Think ghee, butter, coconut oil or olive oil. I do this on a medium to low heat until they are nice and soft. Yeah, this is an enjoy-the-process kind of meal; the longer it takes, the better the flavours. Put on some music and get into it.
Next, I add an array of dried and ground spices and salt. You can mix it up here, choosing from any combination of cumin, turmeric, ground ginger, garam masala, ras el hanout, curry powder, chilli flakes, ground coriander and paprika. Or, use a quality curry paste that contains only good things (my favourite is massaman). Fresh ginger and lemongrass can be welcome additions here, too. Stir your selection (as many as you like – a cumin, paprika, turmeric, ginger combo is a starting point – TBSP of each) through the oil, onions and garlic until it starts to smell amazing.
Some creamy goodness and some stock come next for me; about a cup of each. Pour in a can of coconut cream (my favourite), some yoghurt, or full fat cream, and some homemade stock if you have any made up; chicken or veggie stock for white meats and beef/lamb stock for red meats. Or just ignore that rule. Alternatively use water and a little extra salt. Add it to your pan and let it simmer for a wee bit.
Now add some chopped meat (or not – veggie curries are great too. Try chickpeas, lentils or paneer cheese! If using paneer then add it at the end). My favourite has got to be white fish – but add it at the end instead. Let the meat cook through in the creamy curry goodness until half cooked.
Time for the veggies – add any that you like, chopped up small, and continue to simmer away for another 20 minutes or so.
Taste your curry regularly until it has the perfect flavour and consistency for you!
Remember if you are using fish or paneer, add it towards the end as they take a lot less time to cook.
You can add some fresh coriander at the end too.
*Tip: Baby spinach stirred through at the end adds a nutrient boost!
*Tip: You can just throw it all in the slow cooker, give it a stir and cook on low for about 8 hours. Easy!
Enjoy your curry adventure!
A little message at the end: These blog posts are simply to help me process my own learning. I have no medical, health-science-y background… although I am studying towards a diploma of nutritional science, and I do my best to consult reliable research. If you see any info that doesn’t quite look right, then great! Comment away with your thoughts, because I would love to know more.
A good home comfort meal – almost bangers and mash.
Serves: About 4 Time: 30-40 minutes
Ingredients: A kilo of pork mince, chopped spring onion, a tablespoon of fennel seeds, a grated apple, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (optional), a teaspoon of tamari (or soy sauce or liquid aminos), salt and pepper. Depending on your quality of pork mince, you might need an egg to bring it together. See what you think.
Steps: Mix it all together in a bowl. Shape into sausages and lay on a baking tray. Bake for about 20 mins. We served ours with cauliflower mash and kumara/coconut cream mash. Yummy! Or, just serve it with your favourite veggies.
Beet ‘n’ Beef Burgers
Wholesome, satiating beef patties with a touch of earthiness from the beetroot. And quick and easy too!
Feeds: About a family of 4 Time: 30-40 minutes
Ingredients: Beef mince (I used 1kg to feed a few plus leftovers for lunch), 1 grated beetroot – no need to peel, 2 eggs, chives, crushed or chopped fresh garlic, a few pinches of cinnamon, salt and pepper.
Steps: Thoroughly mix the ingredients together in a bowl. Make into patties with your hands. Either heat a pan with butter or coconut oil and fry on both sides until cooked through, or bake in the oven on about 180 degrees celsius for 20-30 minutes or until cooked through.
You can serve these however you like! I ate mine with brussels sprouts fried in butter, parsnip chippies, and a big dollop of homemade hummus. YUMMMM!
Enjoy. Experiment. Make it your own!
I had Ginger Chicken countless times while travelling South-East Asia, and needed it when we got home. Ginger is one of those foods that I hated with a passion as a kid (ah, mum… did you put ginger in this?!), and can’t get enough of now.
Serves: 4ish Time: About 30 mins
Ingredients: Coconut oil, a chopped onion, a fair bit of grated fresh ginger – about 5cms or more maybe, a crushed garlic clove or two, a finely chopped fresh chilli, a tablespoon of fish sauce, about a kilogram of chopped chicken breast (or whatever cut you prefer), finely grated zucchini and some baby spinach, salt and pepper.
Steps: Heat a generous amount of coconut oil on a low-medium heat in a frying pan or wok. Add onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and fish sauce, and saute (stirring) for a good 10 minutes at least. It will become soft and aromatic, but shouldn’t be browning. If it is, turn down the heat. Add your chicken and continue to stir until the chicken is almost cooked through. At this point, add grated zucchini and spinach, salt and pepper, and continue to stir until the chicken is just cooked and still juicy. I served mine with oven-baked kumara chips and steamed broccoli. Mmmm mmm.
Chicken and Bacon Mash Up
Time: 25 minutes Serves: How long is a piece of string? Just up your amounts for bigger crowds!
Ingredients: Diced chicken breasts, thighs or leftover roast chook, any veggies from the fridge chopped into little bits, baby spinach, eggs, butter, salt and pepper.
Steps: Fry your chicken in a pan heated with butter until half cooked through. Add chopped veggies and continue to fry. Towards the end, add spinach, salt and pepper and then crack one or two eggs into the mix and stir until just cooked through. Serve!
*If you want a creamy consistency then add a dollop of cream cheese or crème fraiche and stir through at the end! A sprinkle of cinnamon goes nicely too.
*I shall add a photo of this once I get one!
Honey-Soy Chicken with Kumara Mash and Broccoli
Time: 25 minutes Serves: Again, make as much or as little as you want.
Ingredients: Whole chicken thighs – or chop them in half if they’re big ones, soy sauce, a touch of honey or rice malt syrup if you use it (fructose free), a half a teaspoon of Chinese five-spice olive oil or butter for cooking. Broccoli in flourets and diced kumara (sweet potato) – or your favourite veggies! Butter and a smidgen of milk, salt and pepper.
Steps: Half-fill two medium pots with water that you have already boiled in the kettle, and set them on the stove on a medium heat. Add your kumara to one and let it bubble away. Leave the other one for the broccoli in the last five minutes.
Mix the soy sauce, honey or rice malt syrup and Chinese five-spice together in a bowl. Add the chicken thighs and coat them in the mix. Heat a pan with butter or olive oil to a medium heat and add the chicken. Cook on both sides until cooked through. Don’t overcook it!
Five minutes before it is all cooked add broccoli to the boiling water and simmer for a few minutes until nicely softened. Drain your kumara, mash it up in the pot with some butter and splash of milk, salt and pepper. Serve your chicken with the kumara mash and broccoli on a plate and enjoy!
*Coconut cream is also a beautiful addition to kumara mash.
*I shall add a photo of this once I get one too!
Tip: I often do not include exact measurements in my recipes, because I think it is so important (and enjoyable!) to feel your way and make it yours. This is how you learn to cook yummy real food with whatever you have on hand. Enjoy the process!
Next week’s blog post will show you how to make an easy and delicious curry from scratch, using the ingredients in your cupboard. Home-made curries are a fab go-to affordable healthy meal!
Ingredients: A chopped onion, a chopped/crushed garlic clove, olive oil, pork mince (I used about a kg), a sprinkle of fennel seeds, a grated apple (skin and all), very finely chopped broccoli, baby spinach, a small-medium cauliflower chopped into small bits, a chunk of butter, a dash of milk (of your choice, or even water) salt and pepper. A couple of tablespoons of almond meal and parmesan cheese.
Steps: Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil on a low heat until softening. Add the pork mince and stir on the heat. Once pork is almost cooked through, add the grated apple, fennel seeds, broccoli, spinach and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to stir on heat until cooked through.
While the pork mince is cooking away, put your little bits of cauliflower in a saucepan and pour milk until it is about half way up the cauliflower. Add butter and salt. Stir it over a medium heat until the cauliflower absorbs the moisture and becomes soft and creamy. Stir it vigorously at the end so it becomes a cauliflower cream.
Pour the pork mix into a baking dish and make it even. Spread the cauliflower cream on top. Sprinkle over almond meal, parmesan and salt and pepper. Bake on about 200 degrees celsius for about 20 minutes, grilling at the end if you want a bit of crispiness on top. Enjoy your healthy pork pie! Yum!