Mini eggplant pizzas

eggplant pizzas

I adore eggplant and pizza, so what could be better then combining the two? That’s a rhetorical question… because obviously nothing! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s vegetarian and gluten-free, so really it’ll make everyone happy. You can just use the ingredients in your fridge for the topping – spinach, mushroom, capsicum, etc… I personally love the combination of sour cherry tomatoes with salty black olives. Of course cheese is a must; haloumi, goats cheese, mozzarella, cheddar – the options are endless! Let me know what you top your eggplant pizzas with!

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 jar passata sauce
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 1/2 jar black pitted olives, sliced in halves
  • mozzarella cheese, grated
  • basil, torn

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Arrange the sliced eggplants onto a tray and brush with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the baked eggplant from the oven. Spread 1 teaspoon of passata sauce over each eggplant then arrange cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese and basil. Place eggplant back in the oven and cook until cheese has melted. Enjoy hot, hot, hot!!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

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Banana muffins

banana muffins

Gluten free, sugar free and tastes amazing? Yes it is true, these scrumptious little bites of heaven are in fact healthy and delicious! I personally love banana bread and these muffins come a close second. This winner recipe is short, simple and sweet. There’s nothing I dislike more then reading a “paleo recipe” with about 40 steps and including ingredients you probably haven’t even heard of, well I haven’t heard of anyway… These muffins are a perfect healthy treat for the 5:2 diet, a snack in the old work lunch, or even a little dessert after dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped finely

Makes 9

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare a muffin tray.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until smooth and creamy.

Then pour the batter into prepared tray, filling each about 3/4 full.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are set and a knife inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Allow muffins to cool before removing.

Store in an air-tight container after sneaking a few of course…

Happy baking, love Jem x

The very best cauliflower soup

soup

This beautiful soup is one of the only reasons why I like winter – it’s hearty, healthy and down right delicious! I can’t take full credit for this recipe as I was inspired by Jamie Oliver’s cauliflower soup; gosh I love that man. The combination of flavours all marry perfectly and the mustard just adds a kick to the dish. I definitely recommend making this soup – it’s a family pleaser, it’s super simple and if you haven’t gathered yet… it just tastes amazing! And what better accompaniment than homemade garlic bread.

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 tbl olive oil
  • 1 cauliflower, leaves peeled off and roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 1/2 L vegetable stock
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated
  • handful parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 heaped tbl English mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Serves 6

Method

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat and add onion and garlic. Cook until onion has softened then add cauliflower, carrots and celery. Coat vegetables in oil and stir continuously for a good 2 minutes.

Add the stock and stir. Bring the soup to the boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add the cheeses, mustard and salt & pepper then blend the soup until smooth.

Serve hot with a garnish of fresh parsley and a side of garlic bread.

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Fantastic frittata

frittata

Yes, this dish does actually taste as good as it looks! Frittata is probably one of the most easiest and healthiest dinners to make; and once you figure out your favourite flavour combinations you can add anything. It’s great for a small bite on the go, and you can whip up a meal with whatever is in your fridge. Frittata is packed with protein from the eggs, it’s suitable to eat on the 5:2 diet, and it’s even tastier the next day for lunch! What does your meat-free Monday meal look like? Here’s mine!

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bag baby spinach
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cooked
  • 5 slices feta cheese, crumbled
  • parsley, a few sprigs torn
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt & pepper to taste

Serves 4

Method

Preheat oven to 180º. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Then add the spinach and cook until wilted.

Spray a round baking dish with cooking oil.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs with milk. Make sure to beat some good air into the eggs so your frittata will come out of the oven light and puffy! Add salt and pepper.

Place the asparagus, feta, onion and spinach evenly in the baking dish then pour over the egg mixture covering the vegetables. Sprinkle parsley on top then pop in the oven.

The frittata will usually take about 40 minutes to cook, but keep on eye on it so it doesn’t burn on top. Enjoy hot with sweet chilli sauce and a roquette salad on the side!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Sweet potato dhal

image 2

So I actually haven’t eaten dhal since my incredible Nepalese trip and I was craving a healthy dinner last night… This recipe is super simple and so delicious – better yet the leftovers taste just as good! You can serve it on brown rice, or simply just eat it on its own. Dhal is packed with protein from the lentils and beans, and is of course vegetarian! This is a winner dinner which I’m going to start eating every week – it could even be my new “meat-free Monday” dish… Did I mention it’s a suitable dinner for the 5:2 diet also?

Ingredients

  • 1 tin red lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tin kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and boiled
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • fresh coriander to garnish
  • brown rice (optional)
  • naan bread or poppadoms, to serve

Serves 4

Method

Cook the onion and garlic in a large saucepan with a dribble of oil until the onion has browned. Then coat in turmeric, cumin, curry powder and chilli until fragrant.

Add the lentils and beans to the pan and stir. Then add the sweet potato and vegetable stock to the pan and stir constantly for a good couple of minutes.

Remove the dhal from the heat. Serve hot with poppoadoms and garnish with coriander. This dish tastes even more delicious with some of my favourite Indian accompaniments for curries – chutney, shredded coconut and spicy pickle. Dig in!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Vietnamese summer rolls

image 2

Vietnamese has to be my most loved and eaten cuisine – I find the food fresh, with subtle ingredient combinations that marry perfectly. Vietnamese summer rolls can be had for lunch, dinner or even an afternoon snack. They are so simple to make, you can use a variety of different ingredients and they’re so healthy! For me summer rolls ticks every box. This recipe I’ve used chicken, but prawn and tofu go wonderfully too.

Ingredients

  • 60g rice vermicelli or rice noodles
  • 8 rice paper wrappers
  • 2 chicken breast fillets, sliced
  • 1 carrot, julienne chopped
  • 1 cucumber, julienne chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 4 shallot stalks, sliced in half
  • 3 tbl fresh coriander leaves, chopped

Dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbl chopped fresh coriander leaves

Serves 4 (2 summer rolls each)

Method

Fry chicken on a medium heat until cooked through and nicely browned on the outside.

Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil. Boil rice noodles for 3 to 5 minutes, or until al dente, and drain. Rinse thoroughly with cold water so they don’t stick together and put aside in a bowl.

Fill a large shallow bowl with warm water. Dip one rice wrapper into the water for a few seconds to soften. Lay wrapper on a bench and place 2 slices of chicken, a handful of noodles, 2 cucumber sticks, 2 carrot sticks, avocado, half shallot stalk and coriander in a row across the centre, leaving about 5cm of the wrapper uncovered on each side.

Fold in uncovered sides of wrapper, then tightly roll to enclose the filling. Repeat with remaining rolls.

In a small bowl, mix the sweet chilli sauce, lime juice and coriander (you may need to add 1 tbl of water if it becomes too thick).

Serve the rice paper rolls with the dipping sauce.

Happy cooking, love Jem x