Sunday, August 31, 2014

Chicken, Mushroom & Spinach Phyllo Pie



Pies! have been on my mind for over a week now so I decided this weekend had to have a pie meal in it. I love using phyllo pastry for baklavas, phyllo pastry has an absolute crunch to it when baked, so I decided to use some phyllo pastry for something savoury. The filling is a combo of my favorite - chicken, mushroom and spinach. You can change the filling, and I can assure you it will still taste yummo!

Back in my univ days, my friend Dori used to make the yummiest pies with phyllo pastry. I remember going to her graduation party and she spent hours putting together the filling and baked the yummiest smelling and tasting phyllo pies ... this probably isn't even close to those pies but it definitely made me think of one of my friends and roomies from back in the day. Miss you Dori ... wish we still lived in the same town so I can come over to eat some of your baklava :)



Ingredients:

  • 1 large chicken breast cut into pieces
  • 1 medium onion sliced fine
  • 3 garlic cloves mashed to a paste
  • 6 mushrooms sliced, I used button mushrooms
  • 2 cups of baby spinach
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1 (small container) of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Oil
  • 6 sheets of phyllo pastry


Preheat the oven to 200C. Thaw out the phyllo pastry sheets on the kitchen counter.

In a pan, cook the onion until it has softened. Next add the diced chicken and mashed garlic. Season with salt and pepper.

When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the mushrooms. Give it about 6minutes and then add the spinach.

Remove from the heat and then stir in the ricotta and the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Layer 3 sheets of the phyllo in a well greased pie pan. Brush with some oil, and lay three more sheets. Leave the edges of the phyllo sheet to hang over the edge of the pie pan.

Spoon the filling into the pan and fold the phyllo sheets overtop and close tightly. Lightly brush the top of the pie with some oil and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20minutes or until the top of the phyllo pie is golden brown.

Serve immediately with a side salad or just as or if you are like my 2 year old, some tomato sauce is all that you will need to make it perfect.

ENJOY!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Lemon Parmesan Salmon

Salmon is something I can never get bored off ... I love baking a couple of salmon fillets for a weekend lunch ... Salmon is absolutely nutrious and it tastes great when its cooked well :)

Salmon is considered as a 'brain' food and is an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals and ofcourse omega 3 ... Now wouldn't you want all that goodness in your tummy! :) I love coming up with different spice blends for cooking salmon, so here is one of them - the flavour and smell of the lemon + parmesan + garlic = amazing!!!

Go on read this super easy recipe that won't cause a whole lot of mess and cleaning up :)



Ingredients:
  • 2 Salmon fillets
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 garlic cloves mashed to a paste
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste







Preheat the oven to 200C

In a baking dish pour the olive oil and the lemon juice.

Rub the mashed garlic on the salmon, and then season with some salt, pepper, thyme and place the salmon fillet skin side down in the baking dish.

Add the grated parmesan to the salmon.

Cook for about 12-15mins or until the fish flakes easily ...

I served the salmon with veggies  ... lots and lots of veggies haha ... it was SO yum!


Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Very Berry Smoothie Bowl



I have been a smoothie-for-lunch person for a long time - but when winter kicked in, I swapped it with mostly healthy eating ;) cause smoothies were a bit too cold for an already cold Wellington ... Been having a lot of smoothie cravings recently and so I have gotten back to smoothies again. I oftened get asked if I don't get hungry in an hour after drinking a smoothie... maybe the ingredients keep me full for a longer time and/or my body is used to smoothies for lunch lol ... I honestly don't know ...


So this morning, I grabbed a large bag, put my blender and all the bits I needed to make my smoothie and brought it to work :) Lunch time came around and I was in the kitchen chopping the fruit and making my smoothie. Got to love work places that aren't very rigid and serious!

This one has an interesting take on smoothies - its a smoothie BOWL! I actually found it pretty filling with the chopped fruits and granola added into it ...

Doesn't it look pretty ...
Very healthy too :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen / fresh berries (I had frozen strawberry, raspberry and blue berries)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tbsp peanut or almond butter
  • 1 kiwi chopped
  • 1 banana chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup granola

In the blender put the berries, water and nut butter and blend till its smooth. The next time I make this, I am going to swap the water and use trim milk OR almond milk.

Then I chopped up the kiwis and bananas and added it to my bowl along with the coconut flakes and granola.

Boom! DONE ...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Prawn Masala



It's been ageeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeees since I made shrimp/prawns - its definitely one of my favourite seafoody things to eat :) so figured it would be perfect to make it for our Saturday lunch. I love saturday lunches especially when we are at home together ... During the week we only get to eat dinner together, so getting to eat two meals over the weekend as a family together is so nice! :)

I decided to give a tray of shrimps/prawns that I bought from the supermarket on Friday an Indian kick. This dish has that aromatic fragrance of the spices coming through and its not very spicy I think. Its great as appetizer, or serve it along with some rice like I did.

I hope you enjoy this recipe like we did!
It was finger licking good ... yum yum yum!

Ingredients:

  • 750 gms of de-veined shrimp
  • 1 large onion chopped fine
  • 2 tsp of garlic paste
  • 2 tsp of ginger paste
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • 15 Curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil 
  • Chopped coriander leaves for garnish 



I began by marinating the washed, de-veined shrimp in the ginger and garlic pastes, 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, some salt and also the spice powders: turmeric, coriander and chilli.

After 20 minutes, add maybe 1/4 cup of water to it and bring the shrimp along with the marinade juice to a boil. Five minutes later, remove it from the heat and drain the water.

Next heat some oil in a pan, and add the cumin seeds, curry leaves and the onions. Once the onions have softened, add the shrimp and the garam masala and stir fry for 4-5 minutes. Once the garam masala goes from a raw smell to fragant smell, add the left over lemon juice, give it a quick toss and transfer to a serving bowl.

Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

I paired this with some tomato rice. CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE.

I changed the tomato rice slightly from the recipe, when I made it today. Instead of adding just water, I added coconut milk ... So to make two cups of tomato rice ... 2 cups rice + 2 cups coconut milk and 2 cups of the tomato sauce ... Hope that made sense ;)


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Raw Vegan Cake ~ A guest post from Louise Alexandra

I am so excited to have a NZ based blogger bring us a recipe today.  She is a food blogger and health coach and if you are on facebook, it will be great if you can LIKE her page ... CLICK HERE

Hope you enjoy her recipe!

I've grown up having an instinctive love for good food, holistic health and sustainable living. After changing my diet completely to a plant based, low fat vegan diet, a whole new world opened up. I've experienced an abundance of benefits including improved mental clarity, hugely increased energy, weight loss and a new found love for life.

My hope is to spread the word that a low fat plant based lifestyle will not only help you to lose weight, but to increase your energy, find you balance on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level and an overall increased sense of well being.

I promote health as a whole and focus on the root cause of illness and ailments, as opposed to a 'band-aid' cure.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions at all!


INGREDIENTS:
Icing:
- 1 young coconut
- 1 banana
- Juice from 1/2 a lemon


Cake:
- 1 cup of dates (fresh medjool are my favourite!)
- 1 cup of dried pineapple
- 1/2 cup sultanas
- 2 grated carrots
- Pulp of 3 carrots (keep the juice and drink it - yum!)

Grate the 2 carrots and juice the other 3, throw the pulp and the grated carrot in your high speed blender or food processor along with the rest of the cake ingredients. Pulse until everything sticks together.

Line your cake tin with non stick paper and press the cake mixture in. Pop it in the freezer.

Now on to the icing! Open the young coconut and scoop out the flesh. Put this in your blender or food processor along with the banana and lemon juice, blend until smooth.

Grab the cake out of the freezer and pour the icing over the top, grate some lemon zest over the top. Return the cake to the freezer for an hour or 2 before serving!