Cauliflower and Bacon soup

This is a simple soup, creamy and filling, but low in carbs. Ideal for a light dinner or lunch, or as a healthy snack – a great way to increase your veggie intake.

3 rashers bacon
3 sticks of celery
1/2 large head of cauliflower
2-3 Tbs Olive oil
2 cups homemade chicken stock
water
salt and pepper
Herbs if you like – a little rosemary is great or a oregano

Chop bacon and celery and fry in olive oil for 5 mins. Add chopped cauliflower florets and cover with stock – you might need a little extra water.
Cook for 15-20 minutes until cauliflower is just soft , don’t over cook as it goes bitter. Blend until smooth and add salt and pepper to taste.

* I sometimes add extra things in like a Leek, Spinach Stalks or a potato – if they need to be used up !

Rice Paper Rolls

These are a great alternative to a sandwich. We often have these for lunch on the weekend if we have had sourdough with eggs/bacon for breakfast – hence don’t need or feel like more bread for lunch. They are also great for kids lunch boxes – just use some baking paper to separate them.

What you need:

Rice Paper roll wrappers – from the Asian section

Chicken or Tuna (or you could use omelette for vegetarian)

Grated Carrot, Shredded Lettuce, Cucumber Slices, Sliced Capsicum etc

Homemade Mayo or Avocado and Grated Cheese if you wish

What you do:

Under a running tap – hold the rice paper wrapper for about 1 minute – making sure its all covered in water

Shake off excess water and then place on the bench top

Layer your filling in the middle, then wrap one side in, then the corners, then roll the rest – it might take a couple of times to get the hang of it – kids love making there own !

 

Chicken and Date Tagine

This is one of my favourite recipes. I fell in love with tajines on a family holiday in Morocco back in 2010 and have been making it ever since – and still everybody loves it! I often serve this dish if we have another family over for dinner, as it is perfect for adults and children, can be made ahead of time, and is a one pot meal….. (nobody likes washing up !)
Traditionally Tajine is served with cous cous , but if you would rather gluten free – it works well with other types grain such as brown rice, amaranth or my favourite buckwheat. Check out my blog on Ancient grains for more information on these alternatives.

  • 1 kg of chicken thigh (ideally organic) – cut each into 1/4
  • 1 tbs flour ( can be wheat, spelt, or rice)
  • 2 tsp of each ground coriander, cumin, ginger
  • 1 tsp of each ground cinnamon, turmeric
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 2 Onions – thinly sliced
  • 4 Garlic cloves, crushed or grated
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock or homemade chicken bone broth
  • 1 425g tin of crushed tomatoes (organic and BPA free lining)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 400g tin of chickpeas ( organic and BPA free lining)
  • 8 chopped and pitted madjool dates
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped to serve
  • 1/2 cup toasted flaked almonds, to serve

Combine flour and ground spices in a bowl and coat chicken. Heat Oil in a heavy based saucepan and fry onions until soft, then add in crushed garlic, and chicken pieces and fry until chicken has slightly browned all over, add in any extra spice mixture, bone broth, tomatoes and bay leaves.Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and cook for a further 15 minutes (to reduce the sauce), add chickpeas and dates and cooked for 10 more minutes. Serve topped with coriander and almonds. My husband always adds some dried chilly flakes to his!
You can make this ahead of time, and just reheat. I always make a double batch as the girls love having in their thermos for lunch at school the next day, and me too !

Lamb Curry

family nutrition, low carb, manly nutrition

This is a great mid week meal, I often make this a day ahead , then re-heat for dinner the following night. It’s great for those busy days when you get home close to dinner time ! It needs 5 hours to cook. The eggplant and dates break down completely – so it’s unrecognisable to little ones !

1 kg diced lamb (I use leg, you can get the butcher to dice it for you)
3-4 Tbs Olive Oil or Ghee
Ground spices – cumin, coriander, garam marsala – about 2-3 tsp of each.
Ground cardamon – 1-2 tsp.
1 onion – diced
2 gloves fresh garlic – finely chopped or grated
1 large eggplant cut into 2 cm pieces
2 leeks -the white part , sliced
Silver beet stalks – sliced
3 cups homemade chicken bone broth – or you can use stock
2 cups cooked chickpeas (home cooked or tinned)
6-7 fresh majool dates – cut in half
1 bunch of silver beet/chard – blanched and chopped
Season with salt and pepper – depending on the stock you use.

In a large heavy based cooking pot heat 3-4 Tbs of Olive Oil or Ghee on medium heat then fry off the onion for 3-5 mins until it starts to turn translucent. Add in the ground spices and fry for a couple of minutes. Then add leeks and garlic and cook for 1 more minute (be careful not to burn the garlic). Then add the diced lamb and stir until browned a little all over – this will take about 4-5 mins. Then add silver beet stalks, and eggplant, and the chicken broth ( or stock). Cook on medium for 20 mins, until the eggplant softens, then you might need to add more water if need so that lamb is covered. Cook on low simmer for 4-5 hours. Stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. After 3 hours add in chickpeas and dates. After 5 hours or so – the meat will have broken down a little, and it should be quite thick (from the eggplant) – if not turn up the heat and reduce. Just before serving stir through cooked silver beet leaves.
Serve with rice if more carbs are need.

Chicken Balls

These delicious chicken balls are a super easy to make, and are perfect for any meal … ( yes you can have a “dinner ” breakfast if you like – much more nutritious than packaged cereal or toast and jam)
I always make extra , as the kids love them in their lunchbox the next day – either cold with some veggie sticks, or hot in the thermos chopped up with leftover veggies and rice/noodles.

1 kg of Chicken mince
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic – grated (or crushed), I use the mini grater as I hate trying to wash the garlic crusher
3cm cube piece of fresh ginger – grated
3 spring onions/shallots – finely sliced
2-3 Tbs of ground chia , or Chia seeds – this helps the mixture to bind
2-3 Tbs of fresh bread crumbs – I make my own supply from leftover sourdough and store it in the freezer
1 handful of fresh coriander – finely chopped – you can leave this out if you don’t have any , or don’t like it.
For Frying – Olive Oil and Butter

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and let sit for minimum of 30 minutes to allow chia to swell. You can leave it for a few hours if time allows.
Then using your hands, make up golf ball size chicken balls, and flatten slightly. The mixture will be a be wet and sloppy compared to beef mince. If it’s too hard to handle, add some more bread crumbs.
In a large frying pan heat up 2 Tbs of butter and a really good splash of Olive Oil (3 -4 Tbs) don’t be stingy, Olive Oil is good for you – and its fine to cook with up to 200 degrees.
Pan fry the meatballs until golden all over and cooked through. If you are having trouble getting them to cook through with out burning, pop them on a plate and place in a moderate oven for 10-15 mins.

Sometimes we have these with Asian style veggie noodle stir fry, or other times I do more middle eastern flavoured veg with rice or couscous – with cumin, ground coriander and serve with yoghurt sauce – mix up natural greek yoghurt with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, and some tahini.

They also freeze well – which is great for lunch boxes. We rarely have any leftover to freeze !!