healthy

Midweek Meals- Red Cabbage Salad

This would have to be the most simple recipe ever. There are only two ingredients- red cabbage and mint. Whenever red cabbage is in season I buy one and make this salad. I usually make a huge bowl which lives in the fridge and makes an appearance at every lunch and dinner that week. I don’t know what it is but this salad makes me feel alive. It pairs really well with yoghurt (another favourite ‘live’ food of mine) and is great added to wraps or as a side.

Knowing there is a bowl of something healthy ready and waiting takes the pressure off and means I can focus on preparing only one or two other components of a meal. Simple eating at its best.

Ingredients

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Midweek Meals- Zucchini Fritters

Preparing the midweek meal can be a stressful affair. It needs to be┬ánutritious, frugal, quick, and easy. Meal plans can go a long way to easing the stress of getting dinner on the table but it also helps to have a few stand-by midweek meals you can call on in times of needs. These zucchini fritters are something I turn to when my plans fall apart and I need something stat! It isn’t an exact recipe but it always seems to come together and taste delicious.

Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:
Zucchini grated (however many zucchini you can spare, I usually use two or so)
1 onion diced/grated
1 egg
Self-raising flour (I never measure, I just shake in enough to coat the zucchini and make a batter)
Milk (enough to make a thick batter)
Nutmeg
Salt & Pepper

Method:

  • Grate the zucchini and dice the onion. As I’m usually making this when I’m pressed for time I simply use the grating disc on the food processor for both.
  • Squeeze excess liquid out of the zucchini
  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and adjust amount of milk and flour until you get a nice thick batter consistency
  • Heat your skillet and add suitable oil such as coconut
  • Ladle spoonfuls of batter into skillet and fry until golden

Serve with homemade yoghurt and whatever else you have on hand e.g. tomato salad, bacon, ham, pickles, sliced cheese. The egg and yoghurt both have a good amount of protein to keep everyone full so adding meat isn’t really necessary. I’ve also added grated carrot or potato when I didn’t have enough zucchini, it’s a very forgiving recipe and nice to change things up every now and then.

What are your favourite stand-by meals? The ones you can make with your eyes closed while helping your toddler sing Old MacDonald?

Kale Crisps

Are you a kale lover? If you haven’t yet given kale a chance, or you have and you or members of your family weren’t too keen, you must give these kale crisps a go! The texture is divine. Large waxy leaves transform into bite sized wafers of heaven! And they are so simple to make!

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Ingredients:

  • Bunch of kale
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Flavourings such as tamari, maple syrup, chilli flakes, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, za’atar, vinegar, lemon juice, whatever you fancy!

Process:

  • Wash the kale and tear the leaves into smallish pieces, discard the stalks
  • In a bowl mix together the olive oil, sea salt, and chosen flavourings (I love tamari balanced with some sweetness and chilli heat)
  • Add your kale pieces to the bowl and mix with your hands to ensure they’re covered
  • Lay the kale on baking sheets. Give them room rather than crowd them together as you want them to crisp up
  • Pop in the oven on a low heat, around 90 degrees celcius, for about fourty minutes or until kale is crisp (you may need to turn kale to ensure it dries out evenly and doesn’t stick to the baking sheet depending on what flavourings you use)
  • Try not to eat them all at once!

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You can store them in an airtight container but I’ve never had any last that long. Have fun experimenting with flavours, if you don’t know where to start try recreating your favourite chip flavours like ‘salt & vinegar’ or ‘honey & soy’ etc. You’ll soon start getting a bit more outlandish with flavour combinations and throwing in things like sesame and poppy seeds for extra texture and crunch. This is also a great way for kids to eat more greens and because the kale is cooked at such a low temperature all that goodness remains. My toddler just loves them!

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Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is deliciously healthy and oh so easy to make using lacto-fermentation. You simply slice your cabbage, salt it and if you like, add whey to kick start the process. This was my second attempt at making sauerkraut (I just didn’t feel confident about my first lot so threw it out), this time I followed the method Sarah Wilson details on her blog and had great success. Just look at that colour!

Do you ferment any vegetables? What techniques and vessels have you had the most success with?

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Baking Bread

Almost all cultures have some form of bread as a staple in their diet. Unfortunately the mass produced versions have never sat well with my body, in fact I hardly ever eat bread at all. My husband, on the other hand, loves bread. He eats it daily and as a result I saw an opportunity to improve the health of both my husband and our bank balance. Homemade bread is free of preservatives and excess salt. It is cheaper, especially if you purchase your flour in bulk and use your energy efficiently (i.e. use the oven heat to bake more than just one loaf or dish) . You can customise it to your particular tastes and needs by altering the loaf shape, flour (refined or wholemeal), or adding seeds, herbs, or spices. Many people are put off baking bread by the kneading and rising, it all seems very complicated. This recipe does away with the complicated steps. It’s called No-Knead Bread and the recipe was originally published in the New York Times. This is my go-to version and I usually make it after cleaning up after dinner.

Ingredients:

3 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1.5 cups of water

Method:

Place flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Add the water and mix with your hands to combine. I simply stir the mixture with one hand and it comes together in less than a minute.

Cover with cling wrap or a damp tea towel and leave overnight.

The next day your dough will have doubled in size and the surface will be bubbled.

Place a dutch oven (cast iron pot with lid) lined with baking paper in the oven. Preheat to it’s highest temperature (I just turn the dial as far as it will go).

Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead until the dough comes together in a ball (again, we’re talking less than one minute here). The top of the ball doesn’t need to be smooth, in fact this helps the loaf to expand and create a rustic finish.

Place the dough into the dutch oven and replace the lid.

Bake for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes remove the lid and bake for another 15 minutes.

Remove bread from the oven and allow to cool.

Enjoy!