Pomegranate & Quinoa Salad

_AAA0329Recently my sister gave me a bag of Pomegranates picked straight from her garden.
I absolutely love the beautiful Ruby red colour of this fruit and the wonderful juicy citrus like flavour it has. Not to mention it’s amazing health benefits.
The Pomegranate is high in antioxidants and is cardio protective. There have also been some studies linking the fruits benefit in reducing  the risk of prostate cancer. The seeds themselves and not just the juice contain most of the properties.
I have always been a fan of colour in foods and so I thought this fruit might be the perfect way to make a healthy winter salad really come alive._AAA0321

POMEGRANATE & QUINOA SALAD

 _AAA0333Cook/Prep Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 cup Quinoa

1 Pomegranate

1 sweet potato

2 cups salad greens

150 g Fetta

Dressing

2tbs Olive oil

1 tbs Apple cider vinegar

2 tsp Agave nectar

Salt

Pepper

Bring the quinoa to a boil in a saucepan with 1.5 cups water and cook for 20 minutes and let cool.

Peel and chop the sweet potato into cubes and stir fry with a little olive oil in a pan until soft. Leave to cool.

Meanwhile, cut the pomegranate’s in half and remove the Arils’ (seeds) and set aside.Wash and dry and transfer the salad greens to the serving bowl. Crumble the feta and add along with the Quinoa, sweet potato, pomegranates, and salt and pepper. Mix together.

In a jar or separate bowl mix together some apple cider vinegar, agave and olive oil to your taste.

Pour over the dressing and serve.

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Gluten free Apple, Carrot and Pecan Muffins

muffin

This weeks recipe is such a delicious way to sneak in some fruit, vegetable, fibre and protein into your child’s healthy snack. You can leave out the pecans if your child is nut free or taking them to schools which are nut free zones.
I love the addition of yoghurt in here and the natural sweetness of the apple and carrot. It makes this muffin more moist and denser than store bought. It will also satisfy the sweet craving in your little one and keep their tummy full for longer.
These muffins can be made in big batches and frozen. Just wrap them individually first and allow to defrost naturally or microwave for a few seconds to have it warm.
I have also found that the patty cases pictured above (which I found at the local $2 shop) are a great size and you don’t need a muffin tin so you can line more of them up on a baking sheet.
Of course, it’s not only your children who will love these but adults will enjoy them too. I’m quite happy to have one for morning tea with a glass of almond milk.

 GLUTEN FREE CARROT, APPLE & PECAN MUFFIN

Ingredients

2 Carrots grated

1 Apple grated

½ cup Pecans chopped

½ cup Sultanas

1 cup Greek Yoghurt

2 eggs

½ cup olive oil

¼ cup sugar or sugar substitute equivalent

2 cups gluten free self raising flour

 

Preheat the oven to 180C

Line a muffin tin with patty cases.

Grate the carrot and apple. Chop the pecans.

Whisk together the eggs, sugar, olive oil and yoghurt in a mixing bowl.

Add the carrot, apple, sultanas and pecans and mix through until well combined.

Measure out the flour and slowly pour into the bowl. Combine well.

Sccop mixture into the patty cases until almost full.

IMG_3089Bake on 180C for approximately 25 minutes until cooked through. Use a skewer to insert into the middle of the muffin to check if it is cooked. If it comes out clean, it is ready.

Depending on the moisture of your individual mix, baking may need to be extended for 5 -10 minutes.

Let cool and serve or freeze for a later date.

Makes 12-15 muffins (depending on the size of your patty cases.)

muffin (2)

 

KALE CHIPS

_AAA0264KALE CHIPS

This is super simple and a much better alternative to other chips. They are surprisingly tasty even to those who avoid their greens. You can easily whip these up for a quick afternoon tea snack. I can’t get enough of them. I made this lot whilst my 4 year old was picking and eating the tomatos in our backyard._AAA0272

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale

2-3 tbs Olive oil

Sea salt or Himalayn pink salt

 

Preheat your oven to 180C

Line a baking sheet or two with baking paper.

Remove the kale leaves from the stem and tear or chop into small pieces (chip size)

Wash the leaves in water and pat dry on a tea towel.

Transfer the Kale to a bowl and drizzle in the olive oil and mix through with your hands.

Spread the oiled kale onto your baking sheets and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for approximately 10min or until crisp.

Nb: You can get creative and make the adult version with a little cayenne pepper or other spices like garlic or cumin powder or apple cider vinegar.

Beans & Legumes

 

This amazing food group can offer wonderful  health benefits for cholesterol, menopause and heart disease.What are legumes ?Dried beans, peas or lentils are legumes. They are a great food source packed with protein, fibre and nutrients such as phytoestrogens, iron and zinc and are low in fat. Legumes store well in the cupboard and are inexpensive and available in the supermarket in dried form or cooked in cans or vacuum packs. They are often found in many Indian, Asian ,Latin American and Mediteranean dishes.

Here a few different types

Chick peas:These peas are round and beige in colour. they have a nutty taste and go particularly well in curries. Chickpea flour can also be used and is the basis for the Indian papadam Green Lentils: A versatile small legume that retains its shape in cooking and has a strong distinct flavour. Great in stews, soups and curries.

Black eyed beans: Small cream coloured with a black spot. they have a creamy texture and go nicely with tomatos (in my opinion)

Kidney beans: A kidney shaped legume that is red in colour. It is often used precooked from the can in salads.

How do I cook Legumes ? Soak overnight for a quicker cooking time. Remove any grit and drain water. Put into a saucepan and bring to the boil with fresh water, simmer until cooked. Keeps approx 1 week in the fridge and for months in the freezer. Of course, there are many more varieties ie lentils, split peas, soya beans all with a distinct flavour so try out some beans today. Whether you are vegetarian or not legumes are a wonderful food source to include in your diet on a regular basis.

Let’s try out a recipe

You are all familiar with hummus which is made of chickpeas. Recipe here….

But today, let’s try chickpeas and mushrooms

Chickpea and Mushroom Curry

Ingredients

  • 1x 400g can chickpeas
  • 200g mushrooms
  • olive oil
  • 2 onions finely chopped
  • 1 tbs crushed garlic
  • 2tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 4tbs tomato puree
  • 1/2 can of tomato pieces
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric, chilli powder and paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp garum masala salt
  • 2 cups boiled water

Method

Rinse and drain chickpeas.

Heat the frying pan and oil on medium heat.

Saute the onions until brown and add garlic and ginger.

Stir in the tomatos and fry for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the spices and mushrooms and fry for 3 more minutes. Add chickpeas and water and bring to the boil and simmer for 5minutes.

Serve with  brown or basmati rice and a little plain yoghurt.