Tag Archives: Greens

Creamy Courgetti with Peas

Creamy Courgetti with Peas

 

Ingredients:

6 Courgette / Zucchini (medium)

1 Cup of Frozen Peas

1/4 + 1 tbsp Creme Fraiche

3 Cloves of garlic

2 tbsp butter (grass fed)

Spices: 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp parsley flakes, 8-10 cracks of black pepper

Courgette

Method:

Prep all ingredients before cooking because the cooking goes so quickly, if you’re not prepared, time will get away from you

Prep:

– Spiralize courgette, squeeze water from courgette so they aren’t too wet, salt courgette, add boiling water to frozen peas to defrost, cut lemon in half, measure out creme fraiche 

  1. Melt 1.5 tbsp of butter, saving the remaining half tbsp for later, on med-low heat for 30 seconds, then add minced garlic. Cook for 30-40 seconds. You want the garlic to start to color a bit, but not to burn
  2. Take pan off the fire and add spiralized courgette and lemon juice. Mix really well then add back to the fire. Cook for 5 minutes on medium-low head, stirring occasionally
  3. Add remaining butter, creme fraiche, peas and spices
  4. Bring to a boil and cook for 2-3 minutes for crunchier Courgetti and 5-7 minutes for al dente ‘noodles’. I prefer a crunchier texture, but Dad prefers more al dente. It’s 100% preference.
  5. Voila!

Courgetti in Pan

I made this light, super easy dish to accompany the sea bass I was cooking. While the sea bass was baking in the oven, I made this courgetti. If you’re organized, it takes less than 30 minutes.

So much can be done with this simple dish! It can be eaten alone, as a lovely, creamy vegetarian dish; you can have it with a light, white fish or you can chuck in some bacon for a gluten-free, ‘pasta’ Carbonara. If you’re opting for the vegetarian version, the peas add a good source of protein, but also an easily digestible, gluten-free, slow releasing starchy carbohydrate, which is great for blood sugar balancing. The Courgetti ‘pasta’ is made using a fresh, green vegetable – this adds vitamins, antioxidants, natural fibre and an all-around healthy nutrient profile to what also feels like an indulgent dish. It’s great for kids, to boost their veggie intake; great for mums looking for a lighter meal to maybe shift the pregnancy weight, and great for dads who might get home late and want to avoid a heavy pasta dish. Winner!

The magic of this dish is the garlic, butter and lemon combination. The lemon lightens up the richness of the butter and cream, adding a kiss of citrusy tang. And no good Italian dish is complete without garlic!

I hope you enjoy this dish as much as my family does. It’s all the pleasure of a pasta dish without the heavy, bloated feeling of a pasta dish. Bellissimo!

 

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Hidden Veggie Turkey Loaf

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Ingredients

2 lbs ground dark turkey meat (see note below)

2 eggs

1 cup grated zucchini

1 cup grated carrot

1 cup peas

1/2 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup vegetable stock

1 tsp thyme, salt & pepper to taste

Ghee or olive oil for frying

Parchment paper and baking dish

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, 180F, Gas Mark 4.  Saute onion in ghee with salt, pepper and a pinch of thyme until soft – about 10 minutes
  2. While onion is frying, grate carrot and zucchini
  3. When onions are soft, add vegetable stock and tomato sauce. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes
  4. While cooling, add meat, vegetables, eggs, salt, pepper and 1 tsp of thyme into a big bowl and mix well
  5. Add onion mixture to the bowl once cooled and mix well. Transfer to a baking dish lined with parchment paper
  6. Mold and smooth turkey into a loaf. Add two teaspoons of tomato sauce to the top of the loaf. Put into the oven and bake for 1.5 hours
  7. Voila!

As a child meatloaf was one of my favorite meals. My mom cooked it in a big pot with loads of tomato sauce and peas. Oh, the peas! I would have triple servings. As much as I would love to revisit that taste sensation, and make the meatloaf I grew up on, it’s not really possible. The two main reasons 1) it’s too labor intensive with an ingredient list a mile long and 2) living in the UK, I don’t have access to many of the ingredients. So I’ve modified the recipe, as I do, ensuring it ticks a) the health conscience box b) the busy mom box and c) the toddler approved box.

Now, about the ‘hidden’ veggies – I know there are two camps about how food should be presented. One camp believes present the food as it looks – if broccoli looks like a green tree, put it on the plate and talk about how lucky we are to eat a miniature green tree. Another camp believes, my child doesn’t care if it’s a tree or a pot of gold, if he can see it and it’s green, he ain’t eating it. I was watching an interview with Sandra Bullock recently and she was talking about getting a child to eat. She actually counted the hours she spends saying, ‘Can you please eat.’ It’s 720 hours a year we spend trying to persuade our tykes to eat. Her point of view, ‘If I can just blend it in a little juice, I would do it at this point.’  We all know Sandra Bullock is not a lazy woman – I imagine she works just as hard in her domestic life as she does in her professional life, and her biggest struggle seems to be getting her child to eat. I’m hoping to help parents have a little less struggle during the 720 hours we spend trying to persuade our children to eat. Let’s remember, it actually starts in the womb, something I will be blogging about soon…

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Additional Note

You can use either dark ground turkey meat or beef for this recipe. If you can’t find dark turkey mince, then I advise using beef, otherwise, your dish might turn out a bit too dry.

Enjoy!

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Broccoli & Mushroom Casserole

Casserole

 

Ingredients

4-5 cups broccoli

1.5 cup mushrooms

1 chopped onion

1 cup grated cheddar cheese

1 cup double cream

1.5 cup cooked quinoa (1/4 cup dry)

Spices: 1/4 tsp salt, cracked black pepper, garlic granules

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, 180C, Gas 4
  2. Wash and cook quinoa. For 1/4 cup quinoa, add 3/4 cup of water. Bring to boil, reduce and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes
  3. Wash and prepare broccoli, mushroom and onions. Broccoli into small toddler pieces and  mushroom and onion roughly chopped
  4. Chuck vegetables in a steamer for 10 minutes to take the edge off the rawness
  5. While veg are steaming, grate cheese
  6. Tip the steamed veg into a 9×12 rectangular pyrex dish, or something similar
  7. Add cheese, cream and mix in quinoa and spices
  8. Put into the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. You want the cheese to turn a nice golden color and crisp around the edges
  9. Voila!

Broc Cass 1

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When I’m craving a pizza, on a Tuesday night, but don’t want the bloated and guilty feeling that comes with eating a pizza, on a Tuesday night, I make my grandmother’s casserole dish. My grandmother was an amazing cook. She lived around the corner from us, and I spent a lot of time at her house, eating her food. One year, during the Thanksgiving holiday, I packed a bag and moved in with her and my grandfather for an entire week. This is a long time for a seven year old. But we were tight. I loved being at her house.

We always ate real food in our family. This recipe, although it might sound indulgent, is all real food ingredients. Nothing processed – nothing refined, much healthier than a pizza. I modified the original because I’m a nutritionist, and that’s what I do, but the flavor is identical. It’s healthy and it makes my family happy. Dad devoured half of the casserole, standing over the stove. That is food joy!

Diary – should we eat it or shouldn’t we?  Choosing a diary-free diet is almost as common as a gluten-free diet, and for good reason – many people are allergic or intolerant. However, if you don’t react badly to dairy, and if you consume it moderately from farms that respect their cows and produce organic, grass-fed products, in its full fat form, then I think dairy can be a wonderful and fun addition to cuisine. Real cream, real butter and whole milk not only taste better than the alternatives, but they are actually better for you. To be boring, consuming full fat dairy over low-fat alternatives will reduce insulin spikes, keep blood sugar balanced and it has a better fatty acid profile. So, ditch the low-fat, skimmed, soy alternatives and indulge in the option that is more of a real, whole food.

Enjoy!

 

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Green Monster Juice

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Ingredients

1 large handful of spinach

1 ripe pear, peeled and cored

2 tbsp Greek yogurt

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp honey

1/4 cup of water

Method

  1. Combine all of the ingredients into a blender or NutriBullet and blend. Make sure spinach and pear are cold so the juice is lovely and refreshing
  2. Voila – drink!

If you’re having trouble getting veggies into your little one, this is a great way to sneak in some green leafy vegetables. Spinach or Kale can be used, as they are both fairly tasteless leaves. Both are loaded with amazing nutrients that are great for bones, immunity, skin and eyes. My girls down this for an 11am snack and it keeps them going, usually running around the park, until lunch at 12:30pm. It’s easy to prepare; you can keep in the fridge in an air tight jar (use an old glass jar) and take it with you when you’re out and about, or as an after school snack. Give it a good shake before drinking. It makes about 7-8oz.

Enjoy!

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Frittata aka Eggy Pizza

Frittata

 

Ingredients 

6 eggs

1/2 onion

1/2 red bell pepper or Romano pepper

2 mushrooms

1 cup of chopped spinach

1/4 – 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese (depending how cheesy you want it)

2 tbsp whole milk

Salt, Pepper, pinch of Basil

Olive oil for frying

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400, 200, gas mark 6
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet on med-low heat for a minute then add chopped onion *see note below
  3. Let the onion cook for 1-2 minutes while you chop the red pepper. Add pepper to onions
  4. Wile the onion and pepper cook, wipe and chop mushroom. Add mushroom to skillet. Let cook for 2 minutes while you wash and chop the spinach
  5. Add spinach and wilt for 30 seconds. Grate cheese over the top of all the veggies. Let this all melt together, stirring occasionally. Crack eggs, add milk, salt, pepper and pinch of basil. Whisk together
  6. Add eggs to the veggies. Mix together. Grate cheese over the eggs and veggies. Let the eggs cook for 2 minutes until the eggs begin to set at the edges of the pan
  7. Put the pan in the oven to cook for 8-10 minutes. The eggs will rise, but as they cool they settle again
  8. Voila!

Frittatas are fairly new to my cooking repertoire, and I honestly don’t know WHY it took me so long to adopt it as a regular dish. It’s such a great variation on poached or scrambled eggs, and I find it’s easier then an omelette. It can be served as breakfast, or load it up with bacon, sausage, chicken, any veggie or herbs you like and have breakfast for dinner! That’s the brilliance of a frittata – its versatility.

This recipe feeds two adults and two toddlers with ease. We love it in our house and the girls call it Eggy Pizza. It takes 7-10 minutes to chop and fry the veggies, then pop it in the oven and forget about it for 8-10 minutes. I find 6 eggs in a frittata goes further than 6 scrambled eggs. I always use mushrooms because the girls love mushrooms, and I always use red pepper (well, if I have it in the house) because the red pepper adds a subtle sweet flavor, as does the onion. Sometimes we have bacon and buttered sourdough bread on the side, sometimes fruit or a fruit smoothie – depending on how much time I’ve got in the morning.  Use this recipe as a base and then get creative with your future frittata cooking experiences.

Enjoy!

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Portobello Mushroom Pizza

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Ingredients

3 Portobello Mushrooms

3 large handfuls of spinach

8 plum tomatoes

Grated feta or cheddar cheese

Olive Oil

Dried Basil, salt & pepper

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F, 180C, gas mark 4 and heat olive oil on low heat in skillet
  2. Clean, remove stem and gills from mushrooms. Lightly oil and salt the mushrooms
  3. Put the mushrooms, face down in baking dish, add to oven and cook for 12-15 minutes. You want the mushroom to be soft and a little flat, but not too flat
  4. Finely chop the plum tomatoes and add to the skillet with salt and one pinch of basil. Slow fry the tomatoes until they are soft. You want them to have a caramelized taste and texture. Once the tomatoes are soft, mash them with a wooden spoon. Add oil as needed during this process
  5. Roughly chop the spinach and add to the tomatoes with another two pinches of basil. Wilt spinach – this will take approximately 1-2 minutes
  6. After mushroom has cooked for 12-15 minutes, remove from oven, flip over and add tomato and spinach mixture. Mushroom Pizza_2
  7. Grate cheese on top then put back in the oven for 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted

We don’t have much dairy in the house, but when we do have it, we try to use a high quality full fat organic dairy from local farms.

These ingredients are per mushroom, so for each mushroom prepared you will need the same amount of ingredients. If you’re making three mushrooms, triple the ingredients.

Enjoy!

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