gluten free

Protein Bliss Balls

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Now I know there is a thousand  Bliss Ball recipes out there, now there is a thousand and one – ha! These little beauties are very high in protein, high in good fats and  low in refined sugar. They are adaptable with any nuts, seeds or dried fruits, just substitute the same quantities. You don’t even have to roll into balls, just press into a lined baking tray and place in the freezer, slice once frozen. They will last 2 weeks in the fridge and 2 months in the freezer.


Protein Bliss Balls

30 balls


Ingredients

300 g pitted dates

80 g roasted walnuts/cashews or Brazil nuts

100 g roasted almonds

2 tablespoons linseeds, chia, sunflower and pepita

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 tablespoon honey

2 tablespoon tahini or peanut butter

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

3 tablespoons protein powder (whey protein isolate-plain)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Desiccated coconut to roll

 


  1.  Blitz the dates until crumbly, add nuts and seeds, blitz until mixed thoroughly.
  2. Melt coconut, honey and tahini or peanut butter in microwave, pour into mixture, pulse to combine. Add raw cacao, protein powder and vanilla. Blitz until the mixture starts to come together.Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and cover with desiccated coconut, store in fridge or freezer.
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Banana Peanut Butter Bread

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Can this bread get any better- healthy, gluten free, paleo ( if using almond butter), dairy free, refined sugar free and with the added  yumminess of peanut butter, banana, pecans and honey!

It can be made in a  mini muffin, loaf or cake tin. I recommend storing it in the freezer, only so you don’t consume the whole loaf in one day – hehe.

Don’t be fooled by it being healthy, it is high in fat, good fats that is…


Banana Peanut Butter Bread


Ingredients

Wet

3 large bananas, mashed

1/4 cup honey or maple syrup

3 eggs

1/2 cup peanut butter or any nut butter

Dry

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bi carb soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt (omit the salt if using peanut butter)

Crumble

4 tablespoons coconut oil

1-2 tablespoons coconut sugar*

2 tablespoons almond meal

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped or any nut you prefer


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175c. Prepare your tin with oil and baking paper.
  2. Combine all wet ingredients together in a large bowl and lightly whisk.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir, pour into prepared tin.
  4. Mix crumble ingredients in a small bowl using your hands, sprinkle over the top of the cake batter. Cook in oven for 40-50 minutes (that’s for a loaf tin) for muffins, check after 15 minutes, then every 5 minutes till done. You can usually smell the cake when its close to being ready. Leave in the tin to cool, then gently lift out using the paper, its really soft and moist.

* Coconut sugar can be found in the sugar section of your local supermarket or at health food stores.

This recipe was adapted from Paleomg.com .

Marinated Lamb Skewers with Haloumi and Grape Tomatoes

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On a bit of a Tapas roll this weekend, creating and making some awesome finger food. A lot of my creations come from what I’ve got in the fridge – lamb, haloumi, grape tomatoes and greek yoghurt!

Just marinate the lamb overnight in rosemary, garlic, lemon juice and rice bran oil, prepare the tomato and haloumi, thread all the ingredients onto the skewers and place in fridge until ready to cook.

Cook on the  BBQ or just pan fry till golden and delicious!


Marinated Lamb Skewers with Haloumi and Grape Tomatoes


Ingredients

400-500g lamb leg steak, diced into 2 cm pieces

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped or 1/2 tablespoon of dried rosemary

4 garlic cloves, smashed with a back of a knife and roughly chopped

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoon rice bran oil, olive oil or grapeseed oil

180g Haloumi, sliced then cut into squares

1 punnet of grape or cherry tomatoes halved

bamboo skewers, short or long

Yoghurt Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup greek yoghurt

1/4 teaspoon of dried oregano or 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped oregano

1 garlic clove, cruched

dash of lemon juice and salt & pepper


Method

  1. Combine the lamb, rosemary, garlic, lemon juice and oil in a container, season and marinate at least 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Make the dipping sauce ahead of time to enable the flavours to be absorbed. Whisk all dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, place in fridge till ready to use. Will last 3-4 days.
  3. To assemble the skewers, thread the haloumi on very slowly, (turning the skewer as you go, learn’t the hard way and mine kept breaking) then a piece of lamb, more haloumi, half a tomato, lamb, haloumi and tomato.
  4. Repeat this process until all ingredients are used, cook immediately on a fry pan/bbq or place in fridge till ready.
  5. Serve with dipping sauce as finger food or as a meal with  flatbread and salad.

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chilli Lime Prawns

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Quinoa crazy at the moment. This little grain is the superfood of superfood. It is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids, has twice as much fibre as most other grains, high in iron, rich in magnesium, high content of manganese (which is an antioxidant), high in Riboflavin (B2) and the obvious Paleo, gluten free, low fat and low carb.
Inspired by Asian flavours, I wanted to create a salad with the sweet, sour, salty balance. My best friend did not have faith in me that these flavours would work well with Quinoa, I proved her wrong – HA! This dish can be made a couple of days ahead, would be great for a bbq lunch or just a simple starter. 

Thai Quinoa Salad with Chilli Lime Prawns


Ingredients
3/4 cup quinoa (cooked per packet instructions)
1 med carrot , julienned and diced or grated
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed and finely diced
1 small capsicum, finely diced
1 small asian shallot
Dressing
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2 to 3 tablespoon of palm sugar
1 small chilli, finely chopped , de-seed to reduce heat
Chilli Lime Prawns
1 kg fresh prawns, deveined and heads removed, threaded onto a skewer if you like
Juice of 2 limes
6 cloves of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
2 large chilli sliced, 3 if you like it hot
4 tbsp oil

 Method
  1. Cook quinoa per packet instructions. I always cook mine in chicken stock, adds more flavour.
  2. To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a jar and shake to combine. Set aside.
  3. For the salad, place the quinoa and salad ingredients in a large bowl, toss, add the dressing. Place in the fridge. Salad can be made a couple of days ahead.
  4. Combine the prawns and marinade, place in fridge for at least an hour or overnight.
  5. To cook prawns, heat a oiled frypan or bbq and cook until golden. They wont take very long, as they have been tenderising in the lime juice.
  6. To serve, place quinoa salad on a plate, top with the prawns, thai basil, kaffir lime leaves (finely chopped) and a lime wedge.

Zucchini Mini Muffin Bites

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 How hard is it to create a high protein, low sugar, dairy free snack?  Its not. These Zucchini Mini Muffin Bites will satisfy those late night munchies when the kids are asleep or the 3pm slump when dinner seems so far away. They give you the satisfaction of eating something naughty, but are totally guilt free. They are free from refined sugar, grain and gluten free and dairy free. All you need to do is mix the dry, mix the wet and combine. Simple I know, the hardest part is not to eat them all.


 Zucchini Muffin Bites


Ingredients

1 3/4 cup almond meal

1 teaspoon bi carb soda

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon macca powder (optional)

1 tablespoon chia seeds

50grams cacao nibs, dairy free dark chocolate or 70- 80% dark chocolate (sugar free), roughly chopped

1/4 cup nut of choice, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

1 banana, mashed

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg

155ml coconut cream (small can)

1 cup zucchini, grated and moisture squeezed out


Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180c fan forced. Grease a mini cupcake/muffin tray with a little coconut oil.
  2. Combine almond meal, bi carb, cacao powder, macca powder, mix with a whisk to remove any lumps, then add chia seeds, chocolate and nuts, mix.
  3. Whisk all wet together, adding the zucchini last and stirring it through.
  4. Fold the wet mixture into the dry, do not overmix or the batter will become very oily.
  5. Fill the mini muffin holes 3/4 full with mixture, you may have left over mixture.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Test by touching the top, if they bounce back they are ready. Let cool in tray, they will be very delicate.  To remove, run a knife around the edges and pop them out.
  7. Store in the fridge for 1 week or freeze for 2 months

Tomato Chutney

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Friday night treats are always exciting when Tomato Chutney is involved – burgers, sausages, steak, potatoes, even eggs – this Tomato Chutney is your best friend. The recipe has  sweet and savoury notes, with a hint of cardamon and cloves. It’s a one-pot wonder, just let it simmer down for a couple of hours and watch how it transforms into a pot of mouthwatering goodness. The Tomato Chutney will keep in the fridge up to a month. This recipe makes enough to give to family and friends – share the love, I say!


Tomato Chutney


Ingredients

1.5kg tomatoes, cored and diced

800g red onion, diced

2 cups light brown sugar, packed

300ml red wine vinegar

8cm piece ginger, finely chopped

8 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 teaspoon of ground cardamon

3 cloves, ground in a mortar and pestle or 1/4 teaspoon of ground cloves

1 teaspoon sweet paprika

1 chilli (optional) I like to keep some separate and add some chilli powder at the end


Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a very large pot and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 1-2 hrs until reduced by half and has began to get glossy and thick.

 

 

 

Baked Eggs with Chorizo Patatas Bravas

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I was having a difficult time coming up with a name for this dish, its not Spanish, Turkish or Greek. Maybe I could name it “European Baked Eggs”…. This recipe came about by mistake as usual, using only ingredients I had to make a “man worthy” dish for my husband that didn’t involve bread, pasta or rice. Being extremely successful in the ” the most awesome meal you’ve cooked” from my husband, it needed to be shared. Its a very versatile dish and the ingredients can be played around with, a bit more heat if you wish or even a whole chilli. Substitute the chorizo for bacon (wont have that nice spicy kick though), zucchini would be a nice addition also.


Baked Eggs with Chorizo Patatas Bravos


(serves 2)

Ingredients

500g potatos, peeled and cubed

1 small red capsicum, diced

1 small red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small chorizo, halved lengthways and sliced

1/2 teaspoon cummin, oregano, smoked paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

1 400g can beans (butter, kidney or canellini)

1 400g can diced tomatoes

4 eggs

50g baby spinach

1 tablespoon oil


Method

  1. Pre heat oven to 220c, fan forced. Place potatoes into a pot of salted cold water, bring to the boil, cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Strain and return to pot, cover in oil and shake. Pour onto a prepared baking tray, roast for 10-15 minutes. Once ready, remove tray from oven and reduce the temperature to 200c. Set cooked potatos aside whilst making the chorizo mixture.
  2. Heat a large oven proof fry pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, saute the capsicum and onion until soft, add the garlic and chorizo, add the spices and cook until aromatic. Pour in the tomatoes and cook until reduced slightly. Add the beans, roasted potatoes, along with the baby spinach, cook until spinach starts to wilt.Take frypan off heat, make 4 wells in the mixture, crack your eggs into each well,  season with salt and pepper and place into oven  for 8-10 minutes. Cook until the whites are just firm if you like runny yolks.