Scrambled Eggs with Goats Cheese (what to cook when you’re too tired to cook)

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I feel a little sorry for the humble egg.

It’s been given a hard time for so long. The good old cholesterol drama of the last 20 years or so had many believing that the yolk was bad for you and we were encouraged to only eat eggs sparingly. Remember egg white omelettes? Seriously…what were we thinking people?

The yolk actually contains most of the important nutrients and the white is mostly protein. ALL of it is good for you. 

One of God’s greatest gifts to us is the egg. It’s such a powerhouse of nutrition, it’s inexpensive and can be cooked quickly and in a million different ways.

Here is a link to an easy-to-understand article about HOW amazing eggs actually are. It’s a must read.

My new favourite breakfast, lunch or dinner dish is this Scrambled Eggs with Goats Cheese and Rosemary. 

I first read about the combination in a beautiful book by Shauna Niequist called Bread and Wine, a love letter to life around the table (my kind of book).

This is one of those ideas that is hard to put in a recipe format. 

Basically, choose as many eggs as you wish to eat or according to how many you are feeding. This is very personal. I would eat 2 if I was making this for myself, my eldest son has been having 5 on his own lately….you see what I mean!

Pour your lightly beaten eggs into a cold non-stick frying pan and then turn on the heat. Gently, start moving the eggs around in ribbons with a spatula or whisk. I like to think of it as a gentle scramble. We all know how awful tough and chewy scrambled eggs can taste. That’s usually from too much over zealous beating and too long on the heat. 

The whole thing takes only a few minutes. When the egg is starting to look almost finished, i.e. just set, crumble in as much goats cheese (feta works well too) as you like, sprinkle in some finely chopped fresh rosemary and season with pepper. 

And there you have it. 3 ingredients, ready in about 3 minutes. 

Who said eating well had to be complicated? 

 

 

Spiced Pumpkin Bread

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So…. I didn’t exactly tell the boys that the star of this loaf was pumpkin.

I just left it on the bench, still a little warm from the oven, for when they arrived home from school. 

The one who hates banana bread, said “this better not have bananas in it!” and I was able to answer confidently that it did not!

No-one guessed the main ingredient, as it was gobbled up and grubby hands reached for seconds. 

I am planning on making another loaf soon, this time leaving out the nuts so I can send it to school for morning tea. 

The smell of this baking made me think of my American sister-in-law and transported me to a White Christmas in North America. Pumpkin and spices baking together in the oven will do that to you. 

Feel free to sub gluten-free plain flour and soy/rice/nut milk to make this a gluten free/dairy free loaf. 

Spiced Pumpkin Bread
A moist pumpkin loaf, with craisins, nuts and a hint of spice.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup wholemeal spelt flour or wholemeal plain flour
  2. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon bi carb soda
  4. 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  7. 1 cup craisins, raisins or dates
  8. 1 cup of nuts of choice, roasted and chopped (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts work well)
  9. 1 1/2 cups of grated raw pumpkin
  10. 2 eggs
  11. 1/3 cup olive oil
  12. 1/2 cup milk
  13. 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  14. Pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and Sesame seeds for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 degrees fan forced)
  2. Grease and line a loaf tin.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, bicarb soda and spices.
  4. Whisk with a balloon whisk till there are no lumps.
  5. Add in the craisins, nuts and pumpkin.
  6. Stir till combined.
  7. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla.
  8. Add to the dry ingredients and stir till combined.
  9. Pour into loaf tin and sprinkle with seeds.
  10. Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted in comes out clean.
  11. Leave to cool in tin for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. This loaf freezes well. Just slice and wrap each piece separately.
Adapted from Mix and Bake
Adapted from Mix and Bake
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

 

 

 

Chocolate Cherry Friands (gluten free)

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Friands, originating in France, are typically an oval shaped, small cake, made with almond meal, butter, egg whites and powdered (we know it as icing) sugar. 

According to Wikipedia, the word Friand means “dainty, or a gourmet who delights in delicate tastes.”

At our cocktail-party style wedding reception, trays and trays of friands were handed out as part of the dessert. I have always had a soft spot for them and would order one over a muffin or large slice of cake any day of the week. 

Made well, they should be moist and springy and not too sweet. 

A standard Friand recipe will have only a small amount of flour added to the almond meal, so substituting gluten-free plain flour works beautifully in a friand every time. 

Black Forest or Cherry Ripe lovers, this recipe is for you. The dark chocolate, coconut and dried sour cherries make this recipe a little different to the standard berry or citrus friand you always find in the shops. 

For serious chocoholics, I would add an extra 100 grams of dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks and fold it through with the cherries at the end. 

Chocolate Cherry Friands
Serves 12
A moist chocolate friand with coconut and dried sour cherries.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped (plus 100 grams extra if you want chunks through it)
  2. 175 grams unsalted butter, chopped
  3. 1 cup almond meal
  4. 6 egg whites
  5. 1 cup powdered (icing) sugar
  6. 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  7. 1/2 cup dried sour cherries (dried cranberries would work too if you can't find them)
  8. 1/2 cup plain flour or gluten-free plain flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsuis.
  2. Place butter and 100 grams of chocolate in a heat proof bowl and melt in microwave for 1 minute. Remove, stir, and if needed, put back in microwave in 20 second bursts until all melted. Set aside.
  3. Lightly whisk egg whites with a hand whisk till it's a little bubbly, then add chocolate mixture and stir till combined.
  4. Add all other ingredients, except cherries (and extra chocolate if using) and stir till thoroughly combined.
  5. Lightly fold in cherries.
  6. Spoon mixture into lightly greased friand tins, filling 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, or until risen and it springs back when lightly touched.
  8. Leave to cool in tin for a few minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Notes
  1. These will keep for 3 days in an airtight container.
  2. After day 1, they are best enjoyed after being slightly refreshed in the microwave for 15 seconds or so.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

Pumpkin & Pancetta Pasta Bake

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Move over Mac ‘n’ Cheese.

This creamy pasta bake, finished with a crunchy, cheesy, spinach topping is just so good. Even the almost-5-year-old-very-fussy-at-the-moment-eater gobbled it up. 

The leek, pumpkin, pancetta and pasta cook together in a mix of stock and coconut cream. Once cooked, it’s poured into a baking dish before topping with a finely processed mix of breadcrumbs, baby spinach leaves, lemon zest and cheese.

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This is my version of a recipe from Delicious Magazine, August 2009. I subbed the macaroni for wholemeal penne, the cream for coconut cream, the onion for leek, and instead of parsley in the topping, I used spinach for colour and extra goodness.

You can easily make this a vegetarian dish, by leaving out the pancetta and using vegetable stock.

If you’ve been making the same pasta dish over and over for years now, I hope you’ll give this one a go! 

Enjoy x

Pumpkin & Pancetta Pasta Bake
Serves 6
A creamy pasta bake with pumpkin, pancetta, leek and rosemary, finished with a crunchy cheesy spinach topping.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 leek, white part only, washed and finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  4. 100 grams pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
  5. 800 grams pumpkin, peeled, cut into small cubes (to give 3 cups)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  7. 3 cups chicken stock
  8. 300 grams wholemeal penne
  9. 300 ml coconut cream
  10. 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  11. 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
  12. Topping
  13. 2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  14. zest of 1 lemon
  15. large handful of baby spinach leaves
  16. 2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large frying pan.
  3. Add pancetta or bacon, leek and garlic and cook, stirring until leek is softened.
  4. Add pumpkin, chilli flakes and half the chicken stock.
  5. Cook for 6 or so minutes or until the pumpkin softens.
  6. Add the penne, coconut cream, rosemary and remaining chicken stock to the pan.
  7. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 12 minutes or so, until the penne is al dente (just cooked) and the pumpkin has fallen apart and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
  8. Stir through the cheese.
  9. Pour into a medium size baking dish.
  10. Combine all the topping ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until finely processed.
  11. Cover the pasta with the topping and bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden.
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/

 

1 Minute Lemon & Coconut Mug Cake and Lessons from a Little Blue Fish

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I never thought I would be reminded of some important life lessons from an animated movie about a little blue fish.

As I sat watching Finding Dory with the family, I found myself fighting back tears.

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Dory, with her short-term memory loss, really struggled to survive in the ocean and needed a buddy with her most of the time to help guide where she was going.

She had lost her family and she was afraid.

She was different to the other sea creatures and lacked the skills the other fish had to survive.

The creatures that end up helping her find her family had their own difficulties too, such as the Whale shark with bad eye sight and the Octopus, with relationship and commitment issues. Nemo and his dad Marlin, knew what it was like to lose someone they love, but despite their fears of it happening again, agreed to help Dory find her way home.

 Just Keep Swimming.

And when Dory finally made it home, her parents had not given up either.

They had been faithfully waiting for her to make her way home, laying out paths that might help her eventually remember and find them.

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You’re in another hard season.

Just Keep Swimming.

You thought maybe the battles were slowing down, or it was your turn for a break from the hard stuff.

But life doesn’t work that way and you find yourself weary and discouraged.

Just Keep Swimming.

Despite the fear and the pain and the difficulty.

Just Keep Swimming.

And don’t swim alone. Gather your crew around you, your imperfect, motley crew of people who love you unconditionally, and get them to pull you along when you don’t think you can go any further.

Do the next thing. Take the one next step.

Don’t look too far ahead, but for today, just don’t give up my friend.

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1 Minute Lemon & Coconut Mug Cake
Serves 1
Lemon and Coconut Cake, mixed and cooked in a mug in 1 minute in the microwave.
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Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Prep Time
2 min
Cook Time
1 min
Total Time
3 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 tablespoons self raising flour
  2. 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut
  3. 1 tablespoon raw sugar
  4. 3 tablespoons coconut milk (or normal milk)
  5. 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  6. 1 egg
  7. 2 tablespoons store-bought lemon curd
Instructions
  1. Mix flour, coconut and sugar in a 11/2 cup capacity mug or cup.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Add milk, olive oil and egg.
  4. Mix till thoroughly combined.
  5. Gently stir through lemon curd, do not mix in completely.
  6. Cook in the microwave for 50-60 seconds.
  7. It will puff up and rise to the top. If the cake batter is not fully cooked, put in for another 10 seconds or so.
  8. Enjoy immediately with extra curd and cream if desired.
Adapted from Tasty Express
Adapted from Tasty Express
cook fast eat slow http://www.cookfasteatslow.com/