Basil Pine Nut Pesto

Basil Pine Nut Pesto

What’s that funny green stuff?

I am a massive pesto fan and this would have to be my favourite pesto recipe I have ever tried (well actually it’s about 5 different recipes combined) and is to die for!

When I make pesto I tend to use it on everything, from wraps, to ‘health'(ier) pizzas and focaccias. If you are going to give pesto making a go I would strongly suggest you try out this one!!

This recipe has been requested by a few friends so I thought I would finally get it up here!

Ingredients:
* 1/4 cup pine nuts
* 1/4 cup cashew nuts
* 1 punnet fresh basil leaves
* 2 small garlic cloves
* 3/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
* 5 tablespoons olive oil

What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spread the pine nuts and cashew nuts over a baking tray. Bake in oven for 5 minutes or until toasted. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes to cool.

2. Place the pine nuts, cashew nuts, basil, garlic and parmesan in the bowl of a food processor and process until finely chopped. With the motor running, gradually add the oil in a thin steady stream until well combined.

Mexican Turkey Meatballs

Mexican Turkey Meatballs

Since I was home late tonight I just wanted something simple, quick and easy for dinner but it still had to taste great of course.

As I already had turkey mince and chicken breast of the freezer I knew it had to be one of the two and I opted for Mexican Turkey Meatballs! Sitting here with a full belly, I am definitely thinking I made these right choice now!!

Mexican Turkey Meatballs

I also threw together some mint yoghurt sauce which topped these off nicely.

* 250g turkey mince
* 15g taco seasoning mix
* 1 teaspoon bread crumbs
* 1 teaspoon dried coriander
* 1 teaspoon dried chives

1. Combine mince, taco seasoning mix, breadcrumbs, chives and coriander in a large bowl. Mix well. Roll teaspoonful of mixture into balls.
2. Spray a lightly heated fry pan with olive oil and place balls in pan. Pan fry until balls until cooked right through.

For the mint sauce this is just a taste thing, I used two dollops of greek yoghurt, mint sauce to taste and a dash of lemon juice to taste.

MMM Yum!!

This makes about 16 balls.

Home Made (Sugarfree) Tomato Sauce

Everyone it seems is on the ‘I Quit Sugar’ diet at the moment. Quite personally, I don’t like the word ‘diet’ in this context as I believe that healthy eating for the right reasons should become a lifestyle choice, however, I do strongly believe in Sarah’s views and her approach intrigues me greatly.

I thought I would give it go, eliminating all sugar but I got stuck when I couldn’t eat my morning muesli because of the dried fruit in it – apparently, it is best to cut out fruit due to the high levels of fructose. I have however made a conscious effort to reducing the sugar in my life – yes it is hard and yes I still eat my fruit but hey everything in moderation right?! I can tell you, refined sugars (like the kind in sweets, chips, processed and packaged foods) are now mostly eliminated in my ‘diet’!

One thing that I found had a LOT of sugars was your every day tomato sauce so I decided to put my skills to the test and see how I go making my own any boy, it is even better than Masterfoods Tomato Sauce!!

Sugarfree Tomato Sauce

This recipe was inspired by sugarfreemom.

Ingredients:
* 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 large onion, diced
* 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
* 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
* 1/4 cup honey
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 800g can tomato puree
* 340g can tomato paste
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/2 teaspoon oregano

Directions
1. Start by heating the oil and sauté the garlic and onions until softened.
2. Add the vinegars, honey and salt to the saucepan.
3. Once boiled as the tomato puree and paste and again bring to the boil.
4. Throw in the cloves and oregano and simmer on a reduced heat until the sauce thickens (this took me about 20 minutes).
5. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then blend your sauce to a smooth consistency.

This makes heaps!! I almost filled a 1 litre jar (lucky it’s so tasty). Apparently this lasts for up to a month in the fridge and can be frozen. I think next time I will make a half or quarter batch though.

Paleo Chicken Kiev

Today has been one of those days where all I can think about is food. I knew I had some chicken in the fridge and that I wanted to try something new so I spent a good part of today researching “Paleo” chicken recipes and at last I came across Once A Month Mom Paleo Chicken Kiev and I knew I just had to give it ago. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would find a healthy Chicken Kiev recipe!!

Paleo Chicken Kiev

For two people you will need:
* 1/2 cup soy milk (you could use any milk though)
* 1 teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar
* 1/4 cup almond meal
* 1/2 cup coconut flour
* Cracked pepper, to taste
* Sea salt, to taste
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, crushed
* 2 tablespoons coconut butter (at room temp so it’s soft but still solid)
* 1 large chicken breast

What to do:
1. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees Celsius.
2. In a shallow bowl add you milk and lemon juice or vinegar and let sit for about 10 minutes to make a buttermilk (alternately your could buy premade butter milk and you could use any milk).
3. In a second bowl combine all your dry ingredients (almond meal, coconut flour, salt, pepper and onion powder).
4. In a third bowl, combine the coconut butter, garlic and parsley and mix together well. If it is a bit cold and the coconut butter is to hard, microwave it for about 10 seconds to soften.
5. Butterfly slice the chicken breast then dredge in the buttermilk mix and coat in the almond / coconut crumb.
6. Divide the coconut butter mix in two serves and place this on the chicken breast and roll. Secure the rolled breast with a couple of wooden tooth picks and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked right through.

This was so good that even the hubby rated it a 9 out of 10!

Creamy Veggie Pasta Avocado “Carbonara”

If you asked me to describe this meal, I would say “It is like an orgasm in your mouth” that is how ridiculously yum this meal is!

Creamy Veggie Pasta Avocado "Carbonara" Vegan Paleo

Here’s what you need;
* 1 medium sized ripe avocado, pitted
* Juice and zest of half a lemon
* 2 – 3 garlic cloves, depending on taste
* Pinch of salt
* 1T basil
* 1T parsley
* 2T extra virgin olive oil
* 1/3 C walnuts, chopped and toasted
* Freshly ground pepper
* 2 zucchinis
* 1 carrot

Here’s what you do;
1. Using a mandolin slice the carrot and zucchini. Place in a pot of water and boil until soft.
2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing lemon juice (not the zest), garlic and olive oil in a food processor. Process until fairly smooth.
3. Add in the avocado, lemon zest, herbs, salt and pepper. Process until very smooth and creamy.
4. Toss the pasta in the sauce.
5. To serve, garnish with walnuts.

You know what the best thing about this dish is, it is incredibly indulgent, taste is amazing and it is super doper healthy for you!

Recipe inspired by: Crunch and Chew

Strawberry Coconut Pancakes

Hope everyone has been having a great weekend. I sure am enjoying mine! Saturday I took a nice walk along the beach with a friend, followed by lunch out with the hubby and then drinks, dancing and clubbing with the ladies. Today I am recovering LOL, I will admit, I may have had one too many wines last night (and some really bad food!)

You know what I think is the best thing about the weekends though? All the extra time I have for cooking!! I was really craving pancakes this morning but I wanted to keep them as healthy and clean as possible so I decided to do a little experiment. This is what I came up with….

Paleo Strawberry Coconut Pancakes

 

Don’t they just look so pretty?

 

Paleo Strawberry Coconut Pancakes

Well not only did they look amazing but they tasted fantastic and with all that coconut and chia seeds these were just packed with nutrients (which I desperately felt I needed after last night!)

So you want to know how I made them right? Well…. Here’s what you need:

* 4 eggs (separated)
* 1 cup coconut milk
* Pinch of salt
* 1 cup coconut flour
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 ripe banana
* 1 teaspoon chia seeds
* 1 punnet of strawberries

And here’s what you do:
1. Whisk together the egg yolks, coconut milk and salt until well combined.
2. Fold coconut flour and baking powder into the mixture.
3. Mash the banana and toss this in to and mix together.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they start to form stiff peaks then fold this into the pancake mixture.
5. Using a non stick fry pan on a medium heat (add a little coconut or extra virgin olive oil if you prefer not to taste the coconut oil), add a dollop of the mixture depending on what size pancakes you want. Cook for a few minutes on each side, until golden. These pancakes don’t really bubble and pop when they are ready to be flipped so you will have to just keep checking them.
Continue until you have cooked all the batter.

For the strawberry topping..
Just cut the tops off the strawberries, throw them in your blender and blend until smooth. Simple!

I would have liked to have added and a green apple to the strawberry sauce but I didn’t realise until after I got home from the supermarket that I actually had none left. This is something I will defiantly try next time though!

Almond and Pecan Crusted Basa Fillets

What a day it has been today.

I slept in (boy it was cold this morning!). I then missed my train and had to drive to work – only just making it on time mind you. Spent 8 hours in front of a computer screen, gruelling, brain draining work. I did learn something new today though, apparently disposable nappies are highly flammable – that’s my interesting fact for the day!

Anyway, once work was over I had bootcamp, but to get there I had to sit in traffic for half an hour as someone had crashed, then I decided to take the back roads which takes SOOOOO much longer and again I was running late. Well I sure paid for it, bootcamp was hard. But it felt great!!

Now I am home and able to relax watching one of my favourite TV shows, The Legend of the Seeker. But of course before I could relax, I had to cook dinner – lucky that’s something I actually enjoy!!

Since I was home late tonight, I just wanted something quick and easy but it still had to taste GREAT! So this is what I came up with;

Almond and Pecan Crusted Basa Fillets

Pecan and Almond Crusted Basa

Don’t they just look scrumptious!!! So here what you need to do…

This makes enough for two fillets. I chose to use basa but you could use any mild white fish.

* 2 Basa Fish Fillets (or similar)

* 1/2 C Pecans

* 1/2 C Almonds

* 1 T Coconut Oil

So just blend together the Pecans and Almonds until they form a fine powder. Coat eat fillet in the nut crusting. Heat the coconut oil in a fry pan and shallow fry the fish until cooked through. This took about 10 minutes on each side.

This is really tasty with some fresh lemon juice squeezed over the top.

See simple, easy peasy, lemon squeezy!