Healthy Avo Smash, poached Egg and Eggplant

MAKE BREAKFAST AMAZING AGAIN.

and make it at home.

SO many people spend anywhere between 15 – 30 dollars on their Sunday brunch, each week! Now, if you are willing to put in the 10 minutes of time it will take to make the food, you are going to save so much money. This particular recipe is so simple and easy, and you can actually make most the elements ahead of time and keep them in the fridge to use in other recipes. To top it off, there are plenty of ways to tweak this recipe for a new flavour each and every time, that way each Sunday will be amazingly special.

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Here comes the tricky part – the avocado. Why is it tricky? How many times have you cut open an avocado thinking it is the right softness to use, only to find it horribly hard or yucky and black? Oh it happens to all of us. The trick is to just understand the firmness. When you grab the avo, I normally do this with my non-writing hand to check, it should be firm enough to give a little resistance, but soft enough that you can push the skin in. Some people seriously have a knack for this.

To the avocado I always add some kind of cheese. In this recipe I went for cream cheese, but some delicious crumbly feta or ricotta are perfect substitutes. If you are vegan, then go ahead and add just a touch of Silken tofu to add a delcious creamy element to the avocado smash. I also add a hint of sumac because I just love the tangy spice that it provides, a squeeze of lime, which preserves the green color, and some parsley too. If not parsley you can add chives, or dill even to just freshen up the avocado even more. You can also add a touch of paprika if you like a little heat to your breakfast.

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In terms of the egg, I went for a yummy runny yolk by poaching my egg, but my parents personally love a good ol’ sunny side up. So no matter what the preference, you can use it. If you prefer scrambled, then add some of the cheese you used in the avo smash to the eggs. To poach the egg – I cannot believe I forgot to take photos! – add a touch of lime juice or vinegar to your pot of hot water. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, generate a vortex by making circles in the water using the end of a spoon. I like to crack the egg into a little bowl before Β this point to make life a little easier because once the vortex has been made, you just want to slide the egg straight into the centre, slowly and gently. The egg should swirl around and essentially fold up on itself. I remove the egg as soon as I can see that the white has cooked off using a slotted spoon, but keep cooking the egg to your liking. Make sure you set it aside to dry off a little on some kitchen paper.

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Now this is the part I do beforehand. The roasted eggplant and the tomato-basil sauce. Stay tuned for the recipe, but any kind of tomato relish or even left over pasta sauce would work well. For the eggplant, I cut it up in thin slices and placed them in a roasting tray. I coated the eggplant generously with olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper and roasted them at 180 degrees celcius, until the eggplant is beautifully golden and soft and has started to caramelise a little.

Here is the recipe card for this particular breakfast recipe!

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Creamy Beetroot, Mint and Pecan Dip

What do you do with left over beetroot? You make easy dip ofc!!

I love making dips at home. Firstly, you know EXACTLY what is in it! That is the best part. There is no added sugar, there are no preservatives, and no fake stuff. Plus, making dip is SOO easy! Trust me, once you start making your own, you will not go back to anything from the store. And this one is just so simple!

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You can make this same recipe using tinned beetroot directly, but I love the sweetness that beetroot picks up from roasting it. It does mean the dip takes a bit longer to make, but it’s an easy step with no fuss. Just clean, peel, slice, roast and rest. o real heavy work.

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I like using pecans in this dip, largely because I always have pecans in the house.But you can use pine nuts, hazelnuts or even almonds. Literally grab what you have lying around to give this dip a delicious nutty texture and flavour. The mint just makes this dip so fresh and is the perfect compliment to sweet beetroot and the nuts too.

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Now if you have left over feta, go ahead and add that with the cream cheese. It will add a tasty salty element to the dip. Plain cream cheese works a treat, and that is usually how I do it.

All you need to do is blitz everything in a food processor until smooth and creamy and then serve with some chips, a touch of paprika and olive oil. Yum yum!

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Bang Bang Broccoli

Okay so I have been wanting to make this recipe for AGES! But every time I ended up buying broccoli it was for some other recipe, usually a Thai curry, or a stir fry. So FINALLY I had a whole bunch of broccoli left, and I had a free Saturday (full disclosure I was actually meant to go out for a fancy dinner but got a tad bit sick the night before *sigh*). So here we go.

Now the first awesome thing about this recipe is that you can make it completely VEGAN! Yay! πŸ™‚ Otherwise it is ofc 100% vegetarian, so a bonus. This recipe is quick, simple and works fantastic as a 3:30pm snack, or even an accompaniment for lunch. Simple, delicious, crunchy and healthy – what more do you need?

So you want to start by cleaning the broccoli really well. It’s the kind of vegetable that a lot of mold and/or bugs can really latch onto. Use lukewarm water to soak the broccoli for around 3-5 minutes, and then pat dry on paper towels. Make sure you dry it off well, otherwise the batter will not coat the broccoli properly.

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Then make the sauce. Oh the sauce. SO much delicious in on little go. Set the sauce aside so that it reaches room temp, and thins out as well. This is important to ensure you get a consistent coating of the broccoli when you toss it all together. I add garlic powder to my recipe because I love that added hit, but if you aren’t a fan then omit it completely. If you choose to use Sriracha in your sauce, then skip the garlic powder otherwise the flavour will be far too overpowering. Trust me.

Next up, the batter. You want to start by mixing the apple cider vinegar with the milk, even if you are using a vegan milk substitute. This will basically make an instant buttermilk for you. You can use buttermilk, but I personally like the fruity tartness of the apple cider vinegar. In a bowl, mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and hot sauce. Pour in the milk and vinegar mixture and whisk everything well until the batter is nice and smooth.

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Cut up the broccoli into little chunks and add it to the batter, coating each piece really well. Make sure the stem is coated nicely too.

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I like to set these aside for at least 5-10 minutes, just to soak up all of that hot sauce goodness. It is so worth it. After that, toss each piece into breadcrumbs, before dropping them into your deep frying over medium heat. Fry them until they are beautiful and golden brown. Remove them and let them rest on some paper towel. You need to let these settle for a few minutes, allowing the paper towel to soak the oil, before salting the chunks. Finally toss them into the delicious sauce and then serve them up.

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Need the recipe card? It’s right here!

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Have a go at this insanely easy, but incredibly delicious recipe. Side note. My sister HATES greens. She is only 10, and well, she behaves like most 10 year olds and despises broccoli. But, interesting, she ate these yummy morsels. She did think they were a little spicy, but hell she still ate them.That is the important part πŸ™‚

Coconut and Lime Tapioca Pudding

Finallllly I am getting around to writing up this delicious recipe. The cold Sydney weather with the really late onset of autumn rains made for the perfect weather to whip up some of this stuff. I don’t make it often… but when I do, it doesn’t last for long at all. I guess I just love pudding, whether it’s tapioca or some spiced Indian kheer.

The recipe is super simple, and can be tweaked in so many ways. You can make it with whole milk, or cream sometimes, or coconut milk. It goes perfectly with whatever seasonal fruit you can get your hands on! But a point to remember is that tapioca is one of the purest forms of starch you can find. If you are trying to cut down that blood sugar then most definitely avoid this stuff at all costs!

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You might be wondering… well duh? Why make a dessert if you are trying to cut down on sugar intake? Well tapioca can be used to make savory food too . At home we make a spiced tapioca meal during fasting periods as an alternative to rice or breads. I’m moving way off track here.

Coconut and Lime pudding! How can anyone resist the combination? It’s fun and tropical and really refreshing. It’s the kind that works wonderfully well during the hotter months and cooler months too. Here’s that simple recipe

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Right? Simple. And it works a treat. It’s the easy dessert that you can whip up in no time. Perfect for those last minute dinner parties or a quick treat for an every day dinner.

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Apple and Date Halwa

Halwa, or Indian pudding (I guess we could call it that) is a seriously delicious dessert with roots in the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. It is typically served warm, but tastes wonderful cold too. It is truly a favourite in my house, and we make it as a treat for a celebration or festival.

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Now, my mother usually makes Halwa using semolina and banana, while back in India I have had it made with carrots and milk solids (mawa or khoya) OR believe it or not… bottle gourd. It’s fairly heavy on the sugar, which is obviously not so great for anyone trying to lose weight, or control their sugar.

This recipe is 100% inspired by the Happy Pear but it is most definitely a superbly different halwa recipe. Why? Because this one is 100% sugar FREE! Yup. That’s right.

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Now this halwa does turn out not so sweet, which I personally don’t mind, but as a note I think next time I will definitely add over some agave nectar or some rose syrup. Honey would work too, but really to each their own πŸ™‚

Before starting this recipe, make sure your dates are really well soaked. This is where we get the sweetness in the halwa and it’s essential that these are softened prior to cooking. They should break apart wonderfully once in the pot and caramelize with the rest of the halwa.

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Now, I used semolina in my halwa because it is a great standard ingredient. Traditionally, ghee would be used to cook Β the halwa and I do recommend using some. My first attempt, I went with all coconut oil and i found that most people didn’t enjoy the coconut undertones to the dessert. It would be better instead to use grapeseed oil as it’s flavour profile isn’t as deep as coconut.

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Oh and better yet… Diabetic Daddy Dearest actually ate thirds of this halwa. SCORE!!! The texture turned out really smooth and has a really nice apple flavour with hints of the sweetness from the dates… and that sweetness is like a really subtle and soft caramel πŸ™‚

I would realllly love to hear what you think about this recipe, and I would love you to know what kind of recipes you want to see! πŸ™‚

 

Lime and Coconut and Pancakes

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the end result!

Pancakes are just the best thing in the world, and they are truly the best pick me up after a really long or hard day. I tend to save these for the congratulations-on-finishing-exams or time-to-cheer-up kind of days.

This is one of my absolute favourite pancake recipes to make. For those that know anything about me know just how much I truly love coconut. The recipe is 10000% more appealing because it is totally eggless and can very easily be made into a vegan variation for which I will give details below!

What you need?

  • 3/4 cup of plain flour
  • 1/4 of self raising flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
  • pinch of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of white vinegar (this is the flufffffing agent πŸ˜› )
  • 1 lime (we are going to use the rind and juice)
  • some milk (I used full cream, but you can use almond, coconut, rice or soy)
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of yogurt (I used a naturally sweetened variety. If you are vegan you can use some coconut whip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or essence
  • 1/4 teaspoon of coconut essence (this stuff is super strong!)
  • less than 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut
  • some butter for frying
  • toasted coconut shavings **optional** (for garnishing)
  • whipped cream (or thickened cream like I used)
  • powdered sugar and maple syrup (of course)

What to do?

  1. Mix the milk and yogurt in a cup and set aside
  2. Sift the flours and add them to a bowl
  3. Add the baking powder and soda to the flours
  4. Add the vinegar straight over the baking powder and soda and watch them fizz up
  5. Add the vanilla and coconut essence to the flours
  6. Add the rind of half the lime.
  7. Grab a whisk and break up the flours before adding the juice of a bit over half a lime. If you like a really tangy flavour, add more lime juice.
  8. Add the desiccated coconut and whisk through well
  9. Now whisk through the milk and yogurt mixture, little by little, until you achieve a thick pancake batter. It should be thick enough to hold a trail when spooning it out.
  10. Heat some butter in a fry pan and spread it around everywhere, on a low flame. I think its best to start on a low heat.
  11. Using a ladle, spoon out one ladle full of the batter and pour it straight into the center of the fry pan and watch the batter spread out.
  12. Allow the pancake to fry until you see bubbles form around the sides of the pancake. This may take a few minutes
  13. Flip the pancake, and allow the pancake to cook for a few minutes
  14. Remove the pancake and then repeat steps 10 to 13. Generate a stack of pancakes for serving.
  15. To serve, top the stack with the toasted coconut flakes, maybe some pecans, maybe some more lime rind… I went with some coconut infused whipped cream. To do this pour some thickened cream into a bowl and add a few drops of coconut essence. Grab your whisk and whip away!

These pancakes are super tangy and coconutty and I truly love them. They are a really wonderful summer breakfast treat and great cheat to your healthy week. Better yet, the pancakes are eggless which will prevent you feeling bloated in the mornings. And, the pancakes themselves are sugarfree. I choose to allow the vanilla and the maple syrup topping to do all the sweetening. Thus, the pancake itself can be eaten by diabetics, like my dad, absolutely guilt free. Just add some sugarfree whipped cream and you are good to go.

Let me know what you think of this recipe! I really would love to hear feedback! I apologise in advance for not having photos of all the steps. I am a truly terrible photographer and well.. they all look a little funny πŸ˜›