Spinach, Sweet Potato & Basil Salad

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IMG_2758This spinach, sweet potato and basil salad has a few yummy additions like broad beans fried in olive oil with caraway seeds and flaked almonds … it is quite simply extraordinarily delicious! The purple skinned sweet potato in this recipe has a lovely texture and nutty flavour and isn’t very ‘sweet’ when roasted. This recipe serves 6 people as a side dish or 4 for a main

Ingredients:

2 medium purple skinned sweet potato
3 large red onions
2 tins of cannellini beans 400g each, low salt
6 cups fresh spinach leaves
2 cups fresh basil leaves
20 or so small tomatoes, any variety
½ cup flaked almonds, raw unsalted
4 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
4 tablespoons olive oil, for the beans
½ cup olive oil to roast the vegetables

For the dressing:

2 tablespoons hulled white tahini
Juice of 1 medium lemon
¼ cup olive oil, or avocado oil

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 220ºC.

Wash the sweet potato and leave the skin on. Cut into 1 inch-ish pieces. Make sure they are all around the same size, so they cook at the same time. Place on a baking tray and pour over ¼ cup of the olive oil. Cost the sweet potato well with the oil. Place tray in the oven.

Peel and slice the red onions, leaving the core and slicing so the core holds the pieces together. I don’t know how else to describe that!! It’s like a little wedge, held together by the core … gosh, see how you go lol … place the onions on another tray and use the remainder of the olive oil and also the ground black pepper and cost the onions well before putting in the oven with the sweet potato.

Roast both for about 40 mins, checking and turning regularly. We are looking for crispy without being burnt. Oven temperatures may vary so check regularly. Don’t turn them to often, this helps them to crisp up!

In a large saucepan, heat the 4 tablespoons of olive oil for the beans. Drain and wash the beans and place them into the pan with the caraway seeds. Fry on a medium to high heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Leave them to get crispy by not turning them all the time. After about 5 minutes, add the flaked almonds to toast.

When the almonds are brown and the beans are crispy, remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Remove the vegetables when done and allow to cool.

In a small container, combine the tahini, lemon juice and olive oil until well combined. I do this in an old jar with a screw top lid! Super simple.

To serve, slice the tomatoes in half and toss everything together in a big bowl with the greatest of care and love. Your family will love it!

Green Beans with Red Onion & Almond

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IMG_2741Side dish extraordinaire is the green bean yummy explosion that was created in the kitchen of love this week – it’s a super simple 10 minute masterpiece that will accompany any other dish with reckless abandon.

Ingredients:

3 cups trimmed green beans
1 red onion, sliced
3 tablespoons flaked almonds
1 medium garlic clove, sliced
2 tablespoons macadamia oil (or avocado or olive oil)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Method:

Trim beans and cut into pieces about 3cm long. Slice the onion.

Heat oil in a large frypan or wok.

Add onion and beans and fry on a medium to high heat, tossing frequently, for about 3 minutes till the onion starts to brown and soften.

Add almonds, garlic and pepper and cook for another 2 minutes till the almonds are slightly brown.

et voila!! serve with a swish and a swirl …

This would be lovely as part of a picnic, with grilled meat, vegetables or seafood, or just on its own with a squeeze of lemon juice. Oh hello …

Super Seed Paleo Power Balls

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IMG_2746These super seed paleo power-balls are simply the perfect healthy snack. Great for work and school lunches, packed with healthy seeds, high in nutrients and calcium, quality protein and fats from nuts … they are great fun for kids to help with and are a fulfilling snack so are perfect if you are reducing the amount of food you are eating – quality rather than quantity!

Ingredients:

Now the ingredients are dependent on what you have in the pantry and the mood you are in – there are a few basics to use at the base for all power-balls …

1 cup almond butter
1 cup flax seeds (pre-soaked)
1 cup dried fruit (of your choice)

Here’s how this recipe evolved …

1 cup almond butter
1 cup flax seeds (pre-soaked with liquid)
1 cup dried cherries, un-sweetened
1 cup sunflower seeds, raw
1 cup pumpkin seeds, raw unsalted
1 cup macadamia nuts, raw unsalted
1 cup almonds, raw unsalted
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 teaspoons vanilla powder

Method:

2 hours before you are ready to start blending, soak ½ cup flax seeds (I used a mixture of golden and brown) in a large bowl with 1 cup of water. They will swell to almost twice their size and the liquid will become viscous and thick.

In a large blender, put the nuts in first and blend about 3 minutes so they break down.

Add all other ingredients and blend to a thick paste.

Roll into golf-ball sized balls and place on a tray in the fridge or freezer for an hour or so to harden.

They can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks, or the freezer for about a month. I store them in bags in the freezer and take a couple to work on a day where I know I need some nutritious support if I can’t get my hands on a nutritious lunch easily.

Add vegan protein powder if you want a post-gym snack! They are a winner.

I would LOVE to hear your variations!! Much love, Sarah

Asian Chicken Salad with Lemon Tahini Dressing

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This Asian chicken salad is posted in homage to the amazing Olivia who cooked for us at work. Her passion and love of food, flavours and textures is a joy to behold! This is changed slightly from the original, cos that’s just what I do … this recipe will make enough for two people as a main meal.

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts, raw (or use 4 chicken thighs)
1 tin coconut milk, 400ml
500ml filtered water
3 star anise
5 curry leaves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
½ butternut squash, cubed
2 cups green beans, sliced
1 cup chick peas, cooked (no salt)
1 cup bean shoots
½ cup thai basil leaves (or regular basil)
½ cup coriander (cilantro)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
½ cup sesame, sunflower & pumpkin seeds, toasted
3 tablespoons tahini
Juice and rind of one lemon
3 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 200ºC.

De-seed butternut squash and remove skin if you want to. Cut into cubes.

Line a large baking tray with baking parchment and rub in a little coconut oil. Place the squash in a single layer and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes until cooked. Remove and allow to cool.

In a large frypan, gently heat the coconut oil and place in green beans. Fry for about 5 minutes until they are al dente. Remove from the pan.

Add the chickpeas to the same pan and fry till starting to get crispy.

In a small saucepan, place the seeds and toast gently until starting to brown. This takes about 5 minutes and you need to be right there and toss the seeds constantly as they start to pop and toast.

In a large saucepan, heat the water and coconut milk with star anise, curry leaves and peppercorns to a simmer. Add chicken and poach for about 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

In a small bowl, combine the tahini, water, lemon juice, lemon rind (finely grated) and ground black pepper. Which until smooth. Add more water if it’s too thick.

Remove the basil and coriander from their stalks.

Time to combine all the yumminess … in a large bowl, place everything except the toasted seeds and mix gently. The dressing should just barely coat everything. I feel strongly not to have any soupy dressing at the bottom of the bowl – please don’t drown your lovely salad!

Serve with a generous sprinkle of toasted seeds and some extra chopped herbs … this one is a keeper!! Swap out the chicken for fish or tofu or just have the vegetables. It’s really really really tasty. Fini.

with love, Sarah

Raw Vegan Caramel Slice

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This raw vegan caramel slice is even better than it looks! I merged a few recipes I found into this divine stack of yumminess …

Ingredients and method:

For the base …

1½ cups raw almonds
½ cup dates
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
4 tablespoons coconut oil
4 tablespoons filtered water

In a blender or food processor, blend everything together to a sticky, dough-like consistency.

Line a slice tray with baking parchment and push the dough into the bottom evenly so you have a thin layer, then place tray into the freezer.

For the centre …

1 cup macadamia nut paste (or cashew nut paste)
½ cup dates
½ cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)

Place everything into a food processor or blender and puree. You are looking for a creamy consistency so leave blending for a good few minutes till the dates have completely broken down.

Once the bottom layer is set (about 10 minutes), pour the centre layer over and put it back in the freezer to set (about 10 minutes).

For the top …

¾ cup coconut oil
¾ cup raw cacao powder
6 tablespoons maple syrup (or honey)

In a saucepan, on a medium heat, gently blend all ingredients with a whisk until well combined – about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, stirring occasionally.

Check the middle layer is set and firm to the touch, pour the cooled top layer over and return to the freezer for about an hour to fully set.

After an hour, remove the tray from the freezer and leave on the bench for about 15 minutes. Bringing the temperature up will allow you to cut it into slices more easily. If you try to do it straight from the freezer, the top layer will crack.

Slice and always store in the fridge, or the coconut oil will melt.

It’s very yummy, that’s all I have to say – very yummy indeed :)

Super Crunchy Nutty Seedy Granola

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nutty-granolaI am having guests and wanted to offer an alternative to breakfast so I made up this gluten free breakfast granola with a twist! It’s lovely how it chunks together and makes

Ingredients:

1 cup raw almonds
1 cup raw macadamia nuts
2 cups puffed buckwheat or quinoa
½ cup raw sesame seeds
½ cup raw chia seeds
½ golden linseeds
½ cup filtered water
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or 2 teaspoons of stevia
2 teaspoons vanilla powder

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC and line a large baking tray with baking parchment.

Blend almonds and macadamia nuts till chunky large pieces.

In a large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together till combined.

Dissolve honey (or maple syrup or stevia) in water then add to the dry ingredients and mix well together.

Place in an even layer on the baking tray and cook for about 10-15 minutes until it’s starting to brown. Remove from oven and loosely break up the mixture so it browns evenly. Keep it in large chunks!

Return to oven and cook for another 10 minutes or so to thoroughly dry out.

Allow to cool before storing in a well-sealed jar.

Serve with almond milk and fresh fruit and a big smile! Love, Sarah

Crunchy Seed Crackers v02

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I can see that the crunchy seed cracker exploration has begun in earnest … these are so yummy and, in all modesty, totally awesome, incredible and yummy!!

Ingredients:

1 cup raw sesame seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
½ cup raw linseeds
2 teaspoons dried herbs – I used a mixture of oregano, parsley, dried onion and chili
½ cup water

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 180ºC.

Cut two pieces of baking parchment a little larger than your baking tray.

Place dry ingredients into a blender or food processor and process to a fine meal.

Add water and blend until the mixture becomes a thick dough. You may need more water, but start with ½ a cup and see how you go.

Roll the mixture in between the two pieces of parchment to about 3mm thick (or thin, depending on whether you are a glass half full or empty person). Use a rolling pin, glass bottle, or anything else that does the trick.

Depending on the size of your baking tray, you may be able to get two batches from the mixture – I did!!

Trim edges with a knife and re-roll to make sure it’s even. Cut cracker shapes into the dough while uncooked, then you gently break them apart when cooled from the oven.

Cook for about 20-30 minutes, depending on the thickness. Keep an eye on them, you are not looking to toast them, just brown a little and dry out.

I’ve found this iteration has stayed crispy much longer than the egg white version, but you can choose whichever feels right for you. Love, Sarah

Roast Lamb Shoulder with Roast Capsicum & Hummus

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IMG_2706What a left-overs delight this roast lamb shoulder with roast capsicum and hummus turned out to be. Simplicity is the universe in complete harmony …

Ingredients:

250g cooked slow roast lamb shoulder
100g roast red capsicum (pepper)
2 tablespoons hummus
½ ripe avocado
1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Method:

In a microwave or regular oven, re-heat the lamb in a bowl.

Top with capsicum, hummus (shop bought; gluten/dairy free, low salt), avocado and twist some ground black pepper on top then drizzle with oil.

I usually have the capsicum in the fridge – this is how I do it …

Pre-heat oven to 200ºC. Place capsicum on some backing parchment in an oven-proof dish and pop in the oven, whole, for about an hour, turning once. Remove after an hour, or once the skin has started to colour. When cool, remove the skin, seeds and membrane and store in the fridge in an air-tight container. Retain any juice from the capsicum and pop that in with it.

It is so yummy and simple and I often have this when I’m home from a long day and don’t feel like starting anything from scratch. One of my dear friends said that I should share these little gems that I make up – I don’t see them as anything unique, but I guess that’s just because I eat like this all the time, I’m so used to it! Hope you love it as much as I do xx

Kale & Bacon Omelette

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IMG_2717Absolutely amazingly yummy kale and bacon omelette – you will never go out for breakfast again …

Ingredients:

5 eggs or 7 egg whites
2 long rashers of gluten free bacon
1 cup kale leaves, finely sliced, stem removed
1 cup spring onions, finely sliced
½ cup fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:

Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frypan till warmed through.

Slice bacon into lardons and place gently into the pan so the pieces cover the whole pan. Now just leave them on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. Don’t move or stir them … patience people. After 5 mins, turn them and give them a shake and do the same thing on the other side. This means they will be delightfully crispy.

Place the kale and spring onions to the pan and mix through the bacon so everything is well combined.

While the bacon is sending your neighbours into a frenzy, mix eggs in a large bowl with the parsley, turmeric and pepper.

Pour eggs into the pan and mix through a few times to get the eggs onto the heat of the pan and combine well with everything.

That’s it! Cook eggs to your liking and serve with avocado and a drizzle of avocado or olive oil. Superb!!

Red Quinoa & Tuna Fritters

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These red quinoa and tuna fritters are totally on the money!! Simple and quick and great fun for kids to help with. Definitely grateful for leftovers so I can have one for lunch tomorrow …

Ingredients:

1 cup cooked red quinoa, or any variety of quinoa (cook as per instructions on packet)
185g tin of cooked tuna (low salt)
1 cup fresh herbs, chopped – I used basil and parsley
2 medium eggs, or 3 egg whites, whisked
Rind of one medium lemon
1 teaspoon dried chilli
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

Method:

Heat the oil in a large non-stick fry pan.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and shape into four patties.

Fry on a medium heat, turning after about 5 minutes. They will be crispy and crunchy on the outside. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn. Turn when ready.

Serve with fresh avocado and toasted seed mix.

Perfect, perfect, perfect supper after a long day at work and it literally took me 10 minutes because I already had the cooked quinoa … really … try this one!!

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