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 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 !!

Spinach and Mushroom Omelette

What’s not to love about a good Omelette ! Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner , easy and quick to make, and endless varieties. My trick to cooking the perfect Omelette is to finish it off under the grill – this makes sure it’s cooked through and also browns the top.

This is a recipe for 2 people – adjust as you need.

4 Eggs – whisked
2 Tbs of butter
10-15 button mushrooms ,or 4-5 big flat mushrooms
3-4 handfuls of english spinach or 1 cup cooked spinach (frozen is fine – but defrost before using)
Grated parmesan for the top – if desired.

Melt butter in non stick pan, over medium heat , then add mushrooms and cook for about 5 mins. Then add spinach and pop lid on for a few minutes until its wilted and soft. Remove lid. Distribute mushrooms and spinach evenly around the pan, then add eggs – tilt pan around so eggs are evenly distributed, sprinkle with grated parmesan if desired. Cook on stove top for a further 5 mins at medium heat. When almost set remove from stove top and place pan under the grill for 2-3 minutes until cooked through and browned.
Perfect on its own, or serve with a big fresh salad, or perhaps a side of avocado.

* you can change the vegetables – try it with capsicum, tomato, grated zucchini, or if you need a few more carbs sweet potato (cooked and diced) is yum – or serve with sourdough.

Shaved Fennel and Rocket Salad

This salad is so fresh and crunchy – and so so simple to make – you’ll be hooked !
Serve with protein of your choice. I like it as a side to Roast Chicken or Slow Roast Lamb.

2 medium bulbs of fennel – shaved on a mandolin slicer, or thinly sliced with a sharp knife
2-3 large handles of fresh rocket leaves
1/3 cup walnuts or hazelnuts – lightly roast in a non stick pan or oven, then roughly chopped
1/3 cup of goats cheese feta – crumbled

Dress with fresh lemon juice and Olive oil , salt and pepper.