Tag Archives: Savory

Buttered Popcorn

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Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil or 2 tbsp ghee
3/4 cup kernels
3.5 tbsp butter
Salt

Method

  1. Heat oil or ghee on medium-high fire. Add three kernels to the pot. Shake the pot around every now and then until all three kernels pop. This takes about 3-4 minutes.
  2.  Once the three kernels have popped, pour in the remaining kernels and cover. Give the pot a good shake. Within 60 seconds, the kernels should start popping quite rapidly
  3. While the kernels are popping, melt 3-4 tbsp of butter – I melt my butter in a small saucepan on the stove, but you can do it in the micro, if that’s your preference
  4.  Once the kernels have stopped popping, turn fire off. Pour half of the butter over the popped kernels. Salt generously. Cover and shake really well. Remove some of the popcorn and pour the remaining butter over the popcorn. Salt generously. Cover and shake
  5. Voila! Serve while hot.

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Buttered Popcorn! I rarely eat sweets – in fact I can count on one hand the amount of desserts I’ve had this year. But anything salty, savory, fried or crispy, I’m in for the win. I make popcorn once, maybe twice a week and if I’m having a bad day, I might have it for dinner. Buttered popcorn might seem overindulgent to some, which is why I’ve classified it as a treat, but if you buy your own kernels and pop it at home, using good quality grass fed butter, it’s a great snack! It’s fun; it’s not fried and a great variation on the sweet snacks.

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!

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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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Cheesy Flourless Muffins

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Ingredients

1 tbs hemp seeds

2 tbs chia seeds

3 tbs Greek yogurt

2 eggs

1/2 cup grated cheese (less if desired)

Any herbs you like. I added 1 tsp green tops of onion, a pinch of chopped parsley from my garden and black pepper. You can add basil, oregano or keep it simple with only black pepper. Salt is not needed in this recipe.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 375F, 190C, Gas Mark 5
  2. Whisk the eggs together then add yogurt and whisk
  3. Add seeds and spices, whisk
  4. Add cheese and whisk
  5. Using a 1 tsp measuring utensil, add 2 tsp of mixture to each large greased muffin cup
  6. Bake for 18 minutes or until muffins bounce like a sponge when lightly pressed upon
  7. Voila!

Dad has the sweet tooth; I prefer savory. I was a little bored of sweet breakfast muffins, but I needed something quick and nourishing with good quality protein to keep me and the family energized, so I whipped these up. They are very dense, which is a tribute to the Greek yogurt and they are very moreish. I made them in about 3 minutes, popped them in the oven, and while they baked I went to get the girls from bed.  Brilliant! Great breakfast for an on-the-go family as well.

Greek yogurt in baking is becoming more popular, and I love it! It’s more nutritious than milk and regular natural yogurt, lovely and tangy, less hassle than flour, thickens your batter like flour, the only drawback is that the heat destroys the probiotics in the yogurt.  Oh well. Or, as the British say (one of my new favorite phrases), Nevermind!  Just move on, appreciate the good, and not focus on the bad…

Enjoy!

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Savory Smokey Carrot Soup

Carrot soup

 

Ingredients

6 large carrots, peeled and chopped

6 small potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 cup of cashews

1 onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic chopped

1 tbsp ginger

zest of 1/2 lime

juice of 1/2 lime

1/4 tsp salt

2.5 cups of vegetable stock or homemade chicken stock (see note below)

2 cups of water

Ghee for frying

Garnish with olive oil and smoked paprika

Method

  1. Cook the onions in ghee for 5 minutes then add chopped garlic, cover and cook until soft
  2. Add carrots, potatoes, cashews, zest of lime and cook for 5 minutes. Add a little more ghee or water if necessary, so the vegetables don’t burn
  3. Add stock, water, ginger, salt and lime juice
  4. Cook for 25-30 minutes
  5. Transfer to blender and blend until smooth
  6. Garnish with drizzle of olive oil, dash of smoked paprika.  If you want extra protein try hulled hemp seeds sprinkled on top

If you follow my recipes, you’ve probably noticed a trend with my recipes favoring the orange vegetable. I love these immune boosting vegetables, not only because they’re packed full of phytonutrients but also because I think orange makes food fun! So, here comes another one. This time it’s carrots!

Usually carrot soups are sweet rather than savory, however, I include potatoes as my starchy carbohydrate and cashews as a source of protein, so this soup is more savory than sweet.  To enhance the savoriness, I garnish with olive oil and smoked paprika – this is an important final touch as it adds great depth to the flavor.

I think it’s important for our tiny ones to develop their palate early on, so from the very beginning stages of weaning, I aimed to diversify my cooking to help achieve this.  So many store bought foods tip the scales of sweetness, continuously nurturing that one sweet tastebud.  I avoid store bought sauces like red sauce or curry sauce, and my girls rarely have ketchup.  My reason for this is simple, to grow their palate to appreciate all five sensations of taste.  I hope you like this soup as much as we do in our house.

Additional Note

I usually use homemade chicken stock in this recipe, in fact, I always have homemade chicken stock in the house. It’s cheaper and healthier than buying store bought stock.  I will post a recipe for both homemade vegetable and homemade chicken stock soon.

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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