Frittata

Frittata

Coming up with fresh, new and exciting ideas can sometimes get the best of me. It’s almost like talking to a bricked wall, or getting writers block, or anything really that can stump your brain into a complete “STOP”.

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Yesterday I had a day like that, I seriously could not figure out what to make for lunch (First world problems, right?) – but I miraculously pulled my crap together and updated an Italian classic. The Frittata is really an amazing “sitting in the sun” all round effortless dish, that can be thrown together in a heart beat. It’s light, fairly healthy and you can add anything to it to suit your palate. Serve it warm or at room temperature, with a huge side salad and a crisp glass of Chardonnay! It is the ideal brunch, lunch, any time of day meal.

All Green Frittata

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

100g of fresh peas

2 handfuls of baby spinach

4 baby marrow (12-15cm in length) – grated

1 handful of asparagus spears

1 handful of fresh herbs, chopped – I used basil, mint, oregano and parsley (The more the better I feel!)

5 eggs – beaten

4 tablespoons of finely grated Parmesan

Salt and Pepper

Non stick spray

A baking dish (I used a 19.5×19.5×4.5cm)

Ingredients for a side salad of your choice – I used red cabbage, mange tout and cucumber

Method

Set your oven to 200C

Prepare your baking dish with non stick spray

Salt your grated baby marrow, and leave to sit for 10 minutes. This helps draw out the water.

In a large bowl, add all the remaining ingredients and mix well.

Place the baby marrow onto a clean dish towel, and squeeze out as much liquid as you can, add this to the other ingredients and give it an extra mix. Season well with salt and pepper!

Bake for 15-20 minutes, checking it half way. The frittata is normally done in a pan on the stove top, but I prefer to bake mine.

It should be firm to the touch and baked all the way through.

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As said before, it’s a really easy base recipe. You can add peppers, tomatoes, onion, even crumbed feta cheese. I find that this one, it slightly more fresh and light compare to one laden with loads of vegetables.
❤️🍴

Quick and Easy Zucchini Fritters

Quick and Easy Zucchini Fritters

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What is it about Zucchini that we all seem to gravitate to? Whether is be the delicious Zucchini “fries” from one of my favorite restaurants, Stella Luna, or whether they are wrapped around mozzarella and baked in a tomato sauce, or made into fritters or “pasta” it’s one of my all time most yummy and delicious choices for a side or a main in a meal!

Let us also remember that it is really low in calories, and contains potassium, folate and Vitamin A – so its healthy for you too! BONUS! (Well depending on what you add to it…..baking it with mozzarella makes it slightly healthier than using pasta)

Here’s a quick recipe adapted from two others and mashed together, to bring you an almost frittata, crispy, fritter type cake. Perfect for lunch, brunch or a quick snack (make them, keep them in the fridge and eat them cold).

Zucchini Fritters

  • Servings: 6 Large Fritters
  • Difficulty: Easy
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4 Zucchini, grated (We seldom find very large zucchinis here, so use a guide of 12-15cm in length)

Salt and Pepper

2 eggs, slightly whisked

1 cup of baby spinach leaves, washed and roughly chopped

1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, also washed and roughly chopped

1/2 cup of Almond meal

2 TBSP of chopped coriander

2 TBSP of psyllium husk

1 TBSP of coconut oil, melted

Place the zucchini in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Leave to stand for about 10 minutes. The salt helps draw out moisture. In a clean dish towel, squeeze out the zucchini and get it as dry as possible.

In a mixing bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients, besides the coconut oil, and add the zucchini. Mix well.

Add the coconut oil to a pan, and bring to a medium heat on the stove top.

Add large spoonfuls of the fritter mixture to the heated oil, and fry until golden brown on each side – flipping carefully.

Serve these with fresh Neapolitan sauce or slices of avocado and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, or a fresh rocket and cucumber salad. Keep what you serve them with simple as these fritters don’t need much to make them shine!

Cauliflower falafels

Cauliflower falafels

Ok guys. You know I love using cauliflower, in as much as I can. From sushi bowls, to egg fried “rice” to pizza, to fritters.

I did this recipe the other day, as I needed to make a “packed” lunch for my vegetarian, as she was on the road, and only after did I then have to figure out what I actually put in them, but don’t worry, I remembered, tried the recipe again, and all is well in the world of Food by Jill. 🙂

Falafels, as you might know, are deep fried balls that are made from chickpeas or fava beans – or even both, its a Middle Eastern favorite, served with fresh pita breads loads of hummus or pickled vegetables – and it’s a huge part of the street food culture in this countries. Rich in protein, it’s a brilliant snack option for vegetarians, or even kids lunchboxes.

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Cauliflower Falafels

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy peasy
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1/2 head of Cauliflower

1 Handful of coriander

1 Handful of kale (stalks removed)

2 eggs

1 tin of chickpeas

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 cup of brown rice flour

Seasonings like – ground cumin, chili, salt and pepper, paprika

Depending on your taste – go wild!

Process all of these ingredients in a food processor, until fairly smooth. Shape into little balls and deep fry until golden in coconut oil, on a medium heat.

I served these with thick cut roasted sweet potato chips, that I roasted with loads of fresh herbs, and also a pea “guacamole” –  which was 1 cup of blanched peas, to 1 large avocado – blend the two and season with salt and pepper, and the juice of 2 limes! Rich in protein and so yummy!

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

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Did anyone else in the Southern Hemisphere notice that its winter? This major onslaught of cold weather that came through overnight, especially here in Johannesburg! It went from Hero to Zero in a few moments!  As I have mentioned before, winter brings with it an entire amount of weird emotions and strange eating patterns. We tend to comfort eat, because its so cold, and the food we do flock to is normally the heavy, carb laden, thick stewy dishes. I AM NOT COMPLAINING! As always I try to figure out “alternates”. Ways to still eat “comfort” food without it being full of processed products and heavy on the stomach. One of my favorite products to work with is barley. I love the chewy texture, and it is Low-Gi, so it keeps you fuller for longer and cuts the cravings in half (lets be honest, we all still crave stuff). It is a versatile, cereal grain with an almost nutlike flavor, and once cooked, its almost like eating an al dente pasta. So besides soup, what else do I want to eat barley to, and also what are my favorite flavor combos to add to it? Because its generally a bland base, it can take on any flavor without it being over powering. I came across a recipe for sweet potato cakes with barley, and felt that I did not want the “sweet” characteristic to this dish, what I actually wanted was to use what i had in the fridge, and take it from there. So I found some peas, mushrooms, and potatoes. I also have loads of thyme (for some strange reason) and fresh oregano, parsley and Parmesan. Ok, mashup begins (excuse the pun).

Pearled Barley, Pea and Mushroom Cakes

  • Servings: 4 cakes
  • Difficulty: easy peasy
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Ingredients 

2 Small Potatoes – steamed, and cooled (leave the skins on them)

2 handfuls of Portabellini mushrooms – remove stalks and chopped (keep the stalks aside for later)

1 cup of Portabellini mushrooms – chopped 

1 garlic clove, minced 

1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, chopped and halved (I LOVE THYME WITH MUSHROOMS)

1 cup of cooked barley 

1/2 cup of peas 

1 tablespoon of chopped parsley 

2 kale leaves, stalks removed and chopped finely 

Parmesan 

Olive oil 

Himalayan Salt and black Pepper to season 

Method 

Soak barley for at least 1 hour in cold water Preheat oven to 180C Steam your potatoes, until soft and set aside to cool, once cooled, cut up into chunks. 

Cook the barley and peas in a small pot of water (don’t add any salt to it, the water cooks away and you might land up with really salty barley and peas)

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Drain the barley and peas, if needed, and return to the pot to start the “drying” process. You will notice that the barley will become sticky, remove from heat and add to the potatoes. 

In a pan, add a good glug of olive oil and start frying your mushrooms, once they are slightly soft, add the thyme and garlic and keep tossing the pan.

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Let the mushrooms cook until they are soft and spongy and have absorbed all the gorgeous flavors of thyme and garlic, and season them slightly (bear in mind you will season the entire dish before you start to shape the cakes). 

When the mushrooms are ready, give them a rough chop, and add them to the other ingredients.

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Add the parsley and kale. All the ingredients are cooked, give the mix a taste and add more seasoning if needed, shape into 4 big cakes or loads of smaller ones. 

Heat a small amount of olive oil in a shallow pan, and seal the cakes on either side before popping them into the oven to heat. When the cakes are in the oven, roughly chop the mushroom stalks, fry it off with the cup of chopped portabellinis, the same way as you did the mushrooms for the cakes, adding the extra thyme and season well.

To serve 

Plate each cake, topped with the warm mushrooms, sprinkle with loads of Parmesan and serve with fresh micro herbs. You can also use these as a burger night patty, topped with onion marmalade and melted provolone.

These are so good, the will become a staple and once you get the hang of all the prep work, it becomes a breeze to make!

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The muffin (Wo)man 

The muffin (Wo)man 

You best believe that these are totally amazing…and healthy!!!!!!! Get out of town! Purleeeeeeeeeeease! Pick your jaw up from the floor and hear me out!

Warm All spice and cinnamon, soft apple, sticky sugar….ooooooh em geeeeee….! It’s a party in my mouth!  It evokes memories of apple crumble, without all the butter and flour, they also have a kick of coffee in them, so it’s the perfect snack for on the go, or just generally anytime of the day. Omit coffee for kiddies lunch boxes.

Also something new that I’ve learnt today is how to make “flax eggs” – so this recipe is not only gluten free but it’s actually totally vegan.

Ground flax or chia meal is mixed with water and this replaces the chicken egg in the recipe. So wether vegan or suffering from allergies or just eating healthier this recipe is a winner all round.

The ratio for the flax egg is as follows : 1 TBSP of either ground flax or chia meal to 3 TBSP of water. Stir it with a spatula, scraping down all the sides, and leave to sit for 15 minutes or so. You will land up with a thick gloppy mix. 

Vegan Apple and Coffee Muffins

  • Servings: 12 muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups of gluten free flour

1/2 cup of xylitol (or white sugar)

2 tsps of baking powder

1 tsp of all spice

1 TBSP of good quality ground coffee

1/2 cup of almond milk

1 FLAX egg

1/4 cup of canola oil

1 tsp of vanilla extract

3/4 cup apple (finely chopped and peeled)

1/4 cup chopped pecan nuts

For top :

3 tsps of brown sugar

1 tsps of cinnamon

Method 

Make your flax egg and set to one side.

Set your oven to 180C and prepare a muffin tin.

Sieve your dry ingredients : flour, sugar, baking powder, all spice and coffee.

In a small bowl, mix the almond milk, flax egg, oil and and vanilla extract.

 

Combine the dry and wet ingredients and fold in the apple and nuts. It’s a fairly sticky and thick dough, but mixing it by hand with a spatula works better than in a mechanical mixer.

Ok!

Scoop into your muffin tin and top with a good sprinkling of the cinnamon and brown sugar mix.

Bake for 15 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

 

❤️🍴

 

 

Savory smiles 

Savory smiles 

Let’s just say that bread is and will always be my weakness. I try not to eat it, not that I suffer from a gluten situation, but because it really does take longer to break down because it’s sooooooo processed! 

Ok. So step in recipe construction and creation, and me, trying to figure out how I can make this work and happen. I found a few recipes on various sites and blogs and I’ve adapted them all a bit to make this one amazing, ridiculously tasty and delicious loaf.

We know that you can use Zucchini in bread, you can also use gluten free flour, but then it tends to taste like cardboard, you can play around with oat bran and rolled oats or anything that you actually like and enjoy eating. This is a mashup of about 4 recipes, and let me add, the mashup is actually really REALLY good.

Savory Bread Loaf

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients 

1 cup of almond meal

1/2 cup psyllium husk

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp of baking powder

2 cups of baby spinach, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup of mushrooms, chopped

1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes

3 tablespoons of fresh thyme, chopped

2 free range eggs

1 zucchini grated

2 TBSP of EV olive oil

1 TBSP of nutritional yeast

1 tsp of ground cumin

1 tsp of garlic powder

Pinch of rock salt

Method 

Preheat oven to 170C

Prepare your bread tin

In a bowl mix together almond meal, psyllium husk, buckwheat flour, baking powder and salt.

Fry the onion, mushrooms and spinach until soft (add these to a dry pan, and add a small amount of water to help loosen the mix of it starts to stick)

Add the remaining ingredients and the fried ingredients to the flour mix and combine well.

Spoon mix into loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through.

Allow to cool before slicing.

❤️🍴