Omelette with Chorizo, Broccoli, Red Onion and Lemon salad

Dedicated to my friend Fernanda, who forever encourages me xx

This recipe is an all time favourite of mine….Since I started the low carb/ low sugar diet breakfast initially posed the greatest challenge…What could one eat for the most important meal of the day that was not laden with carbs and sugar?

The answer : Eggs

Yes, the humble egg…and I have gone to town with the idea, creating many flavoursome omelettes and frittata’s as my main morning meal…Time and time again, I find myself cooking my morning omelette with a side salad of Chorizo, Broccoli, Red Onion and lemon juice…I love it so much that often as my head hit’s the pillow the night before I am already dreaming of my morning cooking regime!

Without further ado…lets crack a couple of eggs and start cooking….

Recipe serves one person

Omelette- Ingredients

2 eggs

1 generous table-spoon of cottage cheese

Tea spoon of grated lemon rind

1/2 a shallot, finely chopped

Chorizo, Broccoli, Red Onion and Lemon Salad- ingredients

1/3 Spanish chorizo, chopped on the diagonal

5 Broccoli florets

¼ Red Spanish Onion, chopped

Juice of ¼ lemon

Pepper to taste

Prepare Salad first

Bring small saucepan of water to boil. Place Broccoli florets into boiling water. Cook for 6-8 minutes, then drain off water and set aside.

( Note Broccoli is best eaten crisp…don’t cook the life out if it!!)

Heat small fry pan. Add chopped Spanish Chorizo and Red Spanish onion. Cook till chorizo is golden on both sides. Add Broccoli, ingredients together. Add  juice of quarter lemon, stir.

Plate salad on plate and return fry pan to stove to use for cooking of omelette

Omelette

Crack two eggs into small mixing bowl. Add generous tablespoon of cottage cheese and stir together. Once both ingredients combined, add tea-spoon of grated lemon rind and the chopped shallot.

Pour mixture into fry pan ( I find that you do not need to add oil to the pan as the fat from the chorizo prevents omelette from sticking)

Cook for 3- 5 mins before using egg flip to fold egg mixture in half in fry pan ( creates a lovely semi-circle) Continue to cook. Use egg flip to flatten Omelette, ensuring mixture cooks through.

Remove Omelette from fry pan once satisfied that eggs are cooked to perfection….Marry Omelette on plate with Chorizo Salad.

Breakfast Perfection….nothing more to say xx

Satay Beef with Bean sprouts, Green Beans, Coriander and Lime

If you are onto a good thing…stick with it! Low Carb, low sugar…no worries! Cooking with these two things in mind can be simple, cost effective and very, very tasty!

And so I present Satay Beef with Bean sprouts, Green Beans, Coriander and Lime.

Yes, the same base that was used in my Yogurt Chicken Curry recipe, but this time the bean spout mix plays second fiddle to a delightful sweet coconut and peanut sauce, slices of tender beef and garlic, onion and chilli.

Before you tackle this simple recipe…a disclosure

Disclosure: I am the first to admit that I don’t cook to recipes….I cook by sight, taste, smell etc…and the roll call of ingredients and there quantities probably best suit people who cook in a similar way, those who are happy to use my recipe as guide, a choose your own adventure approach to making this Satay Beef dish….You decided how much /or how little you use of each ingredients….cook on your terms!!All that can be guaranteed is that you will end up with a SUPER tasty meal to be enjoyed and savoured

Ingredients- Serves 4

500 grams of beef ( I brought beef cut into stir fry strips…cheats prosper!!)

Olive oil

1 onion, halved and then chopped into slices

3 gloves garlic

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

1 small can coconut cream (165mil)

2 heaped tablespoons Peanut Butter (I use 100% Natural Sanitarium Peanut Butter)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon fish sauce

Optional – 1 or 2 tablespoons of water to create sauce consistency if needed

Salt and pepper to taste

Rice OR

Bean Sprout, Green Bean, Coriander and Lime juice- Serves 2

4 Handfuls of bean sprouts

10 Green beans, roughly chopped

Coriander

Lime juice

Salt/Pepper to taste

Cooking Method

Slice onion, use a garlic crusher and crush garlic cloves.

Finely chop red chilli.

Place olive oil into fry pan and turn on the heat. Place onion, garlic and chilli into pan and cook until onions are soft.

Add beef to fry pan. Cook beef with onion, garlic and chilli mix (should take about 10 minutes)

When beef is cooked, add coconut cream and peanut butter. Stir through chicken mix. Add water if needed be to create smooth sauce consistency( 2 tablespoons should be plenty)

Simmer for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the juice of ½ a lime. Stir lime juice through the satay

Serve with Rice OR

Bean Sprout, Green Bean, Coriander and lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Divide mixture into two bowls.

Eat and Enjoy!

This dish is heavenly, slightly addictive and a guaranteed crowd pleasers…even if you happen to be cooking for one!!

Yogurt Chicken Curry with Bean Sprouts, Green Beans, Coriander and Lemon juice

This recipe( the Yogurt Chicken Curry part anyway) was bestowed upon me by a girl I had the honour of working with as a 23-year-old in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Sharanjit and I spent 6 months in 2002 working in a pub on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh called Deacon Broadies. We worked many shifts together, pouring endless pints of cider and serving haggis to the intoxicated.

I don’t know recall why the recipe for Yogurt Chicken Curry came to be in my possession…but as I was not a fan of haggis, I was certainly glad to inherit it!!

It came to me in spoken word form…and remained forever in my memory.

And 10 years later, I continue to cook Yogurt Chicken Curry…. It left a lasting impression, its simplicity,  flavour and  colour made it impossible to forget.

And it is fitting to include the recipe in my blog…for the dish is compliant with a low carb/low sugar approach to living. Instead of using rice, as a replacement the curry can be served on a bed of bean sprouts, green beans, coriander and lemon juice.

You are welcome to follow my lead, or use rice ( but I must say my bean sprout mix was super tasty and complimented the curry perfectly)

Yogurt Chicken Curry

Disclosure: I am the first to admit that I don’t cook to recipes….I cook by sight, taste, smell etc…and the roll call of ingredients and there quantities probably best suit people who cook in a similar way, those who are happy to use my recipe as guide, a choose your own adventure approach to making Yogurt Chicken Curry….You decided how much /or how little you use of each ingredients….cook on your terms!!All that can be guaranteed is that you will end up with a SUPER tasty meal to be enjoyed and savoured

Ingredients below will serve 2 adults

1 Chicken Breast

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 brown onion, finely chopped

1 small red chilli, finely chopped

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Handful of coriander, chopped

4 tablespoons of natural yogurt

Lemon juice

Water

Rice OR

Bean Sprout, Green Bean, Coriander and lemon juice

4 handfuls of Bean Sprouts

10 Green beans, roughly chopped

Coriander

Lemon Juice

Salt/Pepper to taste

Cooking Method

Chop onion, use a garlic crusher and crush garlic cloves. I also use garlic crusher to mince the ginger ( once I have prepared ginger by removing the skin and cutting into small pieces)

Finely chop red chilli.

Place olive oil into fry pan and turn on the heat. Place onion, garlic, ginger and chilli into pan and cook until onions are soft. Add teaspoon of cumin and turmeric. With a wooden spoon, combine spices with other ingredients.

Chop chicken into bite size pieces. Add to fry pan. Cook chicken with onion and spice mix( should take about 10 minutes)

When chicken is cooked, add 4 tablespoons of natural yogurt to fry pan. Stir through chicken mix. Add water if needed be to create smooth sauce consistency( 2 tablespoons should be plenty)

Simmer for 3 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the juice of ½ a lemon to the curry as well as some chopped coriander. Stir both ingredients through the curry.

Serve with Rice OR

Bean Sprout, Green Bean, Coriander and lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Divide mixture into two bowls.

Enjoy…let the sights, smell, texture and taste of a dish guaranteed to transport you somewhere special…for me, each time I eat this dish, I am back in Edinburgh Scotland!!

Who knows were it will take you!!

Healthy Chocolate Crackles

Dedicated to D.P.A, Happy 1st Birthday

D.P.A turns ONE

D.P.A turns ONE

My friends beautiful baby boy turned 1 yesterday

Hard to believe that a whole year has passed since the birth of D.P.A

But one has to believe….it was a year ago that this blog post appeared, heralding in D.P.A’s triumphant arrival to planet earth: D.P.A’s first blog appearance, Oct 2011

For his birthday celebrations, in keeping in line with my low carb /low sugar approach to life, I set about researching kids party food treats….my heart set on making chocolate crackles.

The humble chocolate crackle…the very thought evokes memories of childhood…birthday parties, celebrations and all things nice, sugar and spice.

And to my surprise…the  Chocolate Crackle recipe can be reworkedgoodness can be inserted, with the nasties left out…all the while staying true to flavour and texture.

And so Hip Hip Hooray for D.P.A’s first birthday, and for this little / big man ( D.P.A might just have turned one, but he is already in size two clothing!) inspiring and challenging me to create healthy sweet treats for young and the young at heart to enjoy.

Healthy Chocolate Crackles

Ingredients

125g coconut oil ( 8 tablespoons )

2 cups Puffed Brown Rice

3/4  cup desiccated coconut

¼ sweetener ( I used Nativa)

¼ cup Cocoa

Method

Melt coconut oil on low heat.

Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.

Pour in melted coconut oil, stir till all ingredients combined.

Place in patty cases and refrigerate for 30 minutes ( or till set)

Enjoy the taste of childhood

Consumption Advice

One might not be enough!

Coconut oil melts in the heat…and I took these crackles to a beach bbq, on a hot day…and yep, the oil melted very quickly, and crackles did not hold their shape. Best enjoyed straight out of the fridge.

Almond Meal Pancakes – with Blueberries, Lime and Double Cream

Dedicated to Little Lisa

Almond Meal pancakes with Blueberries, Lime and Double Cream

Almond Meal pancakes with Blueberries, Lime and Double Cream

The key to low carb / low sugar diets to treat each meal as a special occasion, a celebration.

Prepare each meal with love, think about the ingredients you will use in advance, planning is key….where will you source the fresh produce, a local market, health food store or supermarket?

Experiment…not everything will be success…but your failures in the kitchen will teach you as much as your successes do!

Enjoy the cooking process, the learning curve that you are on as gradually eliminate carbs and sugar food products from your diet.

Having just returned from holidays…I well and truly fell of the low carb/ low sugar bandwagon…But I am getting back on the horse…I REALLY noticed the effect of sugar on my body whilst away….The busy mind, difficulty with sleep and depleted energy sources ( it was as if I had a SUGAR hangover…it hurt!!)

But awareness of how my body reacts to sugar, more so than carbs, makes me more determined than ever pick up where I left off…So the low carb/ low sugar approach to life is once more in full swing.

And so I present Almond Meal Pancakes– with blueberries, lime and double cream

The perfect way to start ANY day

Makes 6 pancakes  / Serves 2-3 people

1 cup almond meal

2 Eggs

¼ water ( for puffier pancakes you could use sparkling water)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon of Natvia/ Stivia ( optional…you may not want to add sweetener)

Punnet of Blueberries

Some heavenly double cream

Place butter in pan, melt and spread around the pan.

Spoon pancake patter into pan ( you may need to use the back of a spoon to spread  pancake batter around the pan)

After pancake batter has been in pan for 2 mins cooking, press desired amount of blueberries into batter. Flip pancake over to cook other side.

Repeat till pancake mixture is no more!

** You may prefer to cook the pancakes without inserting blueberries into the batter. Make your pancakes, and when finished, place desired on amount of blueberries into pan, heat through….and then place liberally on your yummy almond meal pancakes.

Serve with double cream

Impossibly good

xx

Banana Cream Pie

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

When I was growing up I was fortunate enough to have not one but two best friends.

When the Lee twins moved from country NSW to the South Coast,  we hit it off, and as a result my childhood is awash of memories of the three of us at the beach, the park and the local roller skating rink. As teenagers we found casual work together in the local supermarket, embraced the Wollongong night life as young adults and when that no longer satisfied we went on numerous domestic and international holidays.

Today, as grown women we continue to catch up….to gossip, to reminisce….a chance for a briefly escape the busyness that has become our lives…we all have day jobs, one has a family of their own, we have households, gardens and pets to attend too…but we would not have it any other way!!

I recall all three of us shared a love of baking. It was common to find us in the Lee family kitchen, making mess from one end of the kitchen bench to the other…We loved to invent, to experiment…following recipes…well sometimes…It was a relaxed atmosphere, three creative spirits having a go!!

It is with fondness that I recall a dish the three of us perfected back in the early 1990’s…Banana Cream Pie.

The taste of my childhood, our collective childhoods…This recipe is best made in the company of others and then eaten soon after with the same crew.

Did we invent this recipe? It is hard to say…I don’t recall there EVER being a recipe book, and it was well before the era of the internet and Google.

Inspired by an my earlier post this week : Taste of Childhood,  I have spent a great deal of time reminiscing about the foods that shaped by early years….Banana Cream Pie surfaced again and again.

So without further ado, let me commit to text, the recipe that will always be associated with good friends, good company and the unmistakable taste of summer.

Banana Cream Pie ( or the  ‘I am such a lucky girl to have two best friends’ pie)

1 Packet of Arnotts Nice Biscuits ( any sweet plain biscuit will do)

75 g butter

2 ripe banana

2 passionfruit

300 ml Lite Thickened Cream

200g Passionfruit yogurt

Base: Smash biscuits into a crumb consistency. Melt butter. Mixed into biscuits crumb.

Place into pie dish. Press firmly with hands into base of dish. Place into refrigerator to set.

Pie filling: Mash bananas. Add passionfruit pulp. Add passionfruit yogurt and thickened cream. Stir all ingredients together.

When pie base has set (20 mins max waiting time) remove from fridge and pour filling into pie dish.

Place into freezer for up to 2 hours to set.

Serve frozen and with fresh fruit (if so desired)

Note : The does not have to be a Banana / Passionfruit cream pie…you could use any fruit that takes your fancy…Strawberries, Blueberries, Rasberries….The falvour combinations are endless.

Related post: The Taste of Childhood

Banana Cream Pie...ready to eat

Banana Cream Pie…ready to eat!

Mum’s home-made muesli

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

A few months back I was having a post work whinge over a cup of coffee whilst visiting my Mum and Dad in their South Coast home.

On and on I ranted…having survived another week of office warfare all I wanted was some understanding, for someone to say ‘ What a horrible week…I understand your frustration and disappointment’

Instead, as I finally stopped to draw breath,  my Mum uttered the following words, with the tone of voice every parent calls on from time to time

‘ Aren’t you eating breakfast?’

In an instant my anger and frustration just grew 10 fold!!

Looking back on that discussion…and Mum’s classic summation of my whinge…I can’t help but think that perhaps she was right….

For indeed, on that fateful day , I had forgone breakfast….And if I am honest, more often than not since that day I have eaten a single piece of toast on the run, relied on a large coffee to provide me with all my breakfast nutritional needs…

As days have turned to weeks, weeks into months, my morning energy levels have dwindled….and over and over in my ears rings I can  hear my Mother’s concern ‘ Aren’t you eating breakfast?’

On the weekend  I came to terms with the fact that I could no longer ignore my Mother’s pleas….I shopped up a storm, dusted off an old recipe book  and took the time to make her ‘Famous’ home-made muesli.

As I child, and teenager, young adult, it was my breakfast cereal of choice. It was its simplicity that won me over…no sugar, all natural grains and oats which I would spruce up with the all essential chopped dried apricots and cold milk.

Home-made muesli with dried apricots and cranberries

Home-made muesli with dried apricots and cranberries

When I first left home to live in the UK for 2 years in 2001, it was the first recipe request that I had Mum write into my travel journal….And it is this travel journal which I turned to on the weekend, turned to the well worn page and got to work.

It felt ‘just right’ to set aside time to eat breakfast this morning. Sitting down at my breakfast table to a bowl of childhood memories, complete with chopped apricots.

Lesson learnt….Mum knows best.

S.M.Boyle’s Famous Home-Made Muesli- Guaranteed breakfast happiness

1 packet ( 750g) rolled oats

1 packet ( 100g) sunflowers

½ ( 75g) packet sesame seeds

1 packet ( 100g) of slivered almonds

½ cup coconut

½ cup of bran OR oat bran

½ cup wheat germ

Bake in large tray in very slow oven 90 Celsius for ¾ hour – 1 hour. Turn oven off and leave until cool.

Serve with array of chopped dried fruit and milk

Sweet Treats: Chocolate Spiders

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

On Tuesday night I caught up with a mate ( it is what I do best!!)

Mel and I met at The Spot in Randwick, for a quick bite to eat and to watch ‘ Dark Shadows’, the new Johnny Depp / Tim Burton film collaboration.

Many words, many posts indeed could be devoted to the actor Johnny Depp….for he is someone I have longed admired…but this is not THAT post…

After pizza and wine, we queued in the line for the ‘ candy bar’ at the Cinema….neither of us capable of fitting another morsel of food in..but when one goes to the cinema…one must buy candy!!

Umming over what to purchase…a Kit Kat?  Mars Bar? Toblerone?

Uninspired by the usual choices….something caught our attention is a small display cabinet next to the Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cabinet….

Home-made  chocolate spiders.

Chang's Chocolate Spiders

Chang’s Chocolate Spiders

‘ Chocolate Spiders?’ queried Mel ‘ What are they?’

Looking puzzled, Mel could only presume that because she had grown up in Western Australia, the Chocolate Spider recipe had been not  embraced with the same gusto as in the East Coast.

Astounded that my friend had never eaten a Chocolate spider, I took on an advisory role, reverting back to my childhood years when, as an amateur master chef, I would melt milk chocolate over low heat,  add a 2 tablespoon of peanut butter and mix in a bag of Chang’s Original Fried Noodles.

My chef hat would remain on whilst I heaped spoonfuls of the mixture onto a lined baking tray and pop into the refrigerator.

Chocolate Spiders….a crunchy, chocolate and peanut butter treat…

Mel and I made our decision there and then,  we parted with a $5.00 note and carefully cradled the sweets as we walked into the cinema.

When Mel experienced a  Chocolate Spiders for the first time, I swear I saw a single tear roll down her check…a single tear for all the chocolate spiders she missed out on during her childhood.

So it would only seem fair to share the Chocolate Spider recipe….so as to prevent another person, child or adult, being denied this delightful sweet treat….

After all, it is in the spirit of this blog, to share that which brings joy, not only to oneself, but to those you hold dear…

Click here for recipe :

Chang’s Chocolate Spiders

Anzac Biscuits

Anzac Buscuits

Anzac Buscuits

Friendship Fire starter: something that promotes friendship, encourages a catch up or strengthens a bond between two or more people.

The Anzac Biscuit….A fitting time to bake them really,  given that tomorrow is Anzac Day, a public holiday in Australia, which commemorates and honours the lives lost, the sacrifices made by men, women and children in the First and Second World War.

As I mixed this humble mix of kitchen staples together on Sunday afternoon, the flour, the oats, the sugar…I thought of a time gone by, when food rashions were in place, when eggs and dairy products were priced beyond the means of the average family income…The result…the emergence of  the Anzac buscuit…A sturdy, chewy, sugary, oatey treat….

The Anzac Biscuit was economical cooking  AND  it  kept well. Wives, mothers and girlfriends could whip a batch of oatey goodness  and send them to their men, their boys serving in the war…A cheap treat, that not only tasted good but was guaranteed to taste good for months on end.

Anzac Day, the 25th of April…a time to pause, a time to reflect….If I am honest, if was not till my early 20’s that I began to register the significance of this day….And not till after I returned, aged 24, from a 2 year UK adventure, that I took any interest.

Both of my Mother’s parents served in World War Two….this much I know…My Nan marched in the George Street Anzac Day march for 34 consecutive years….only recently hung up her marching shoes, opting to watch the march on television.

There is something about this day that I find intrinsically sad…I have watched the Sydney march, even walked arm in arm with my Nan one year…and I am forever struggling to hold back tears…A combination of bag pipe music ( gets me EVERY TIME!!) , crowds, and the immense pride shown by those marching, each step often a conscious effort, one foot in front of the other territory…. time has crept up on the those who served in World War 2,  the Vietnam war, they are old, aging….Yet the Anzac Parade brings out their super hero qualities…and we , the audience,  have to accept that this is something they want to do, they need to do…All you can do is cheer, clap and applaud  these brave men and women who sacrificed so much for our country….

So tomorrow, why not bake a batch of our national biscuit: the Anzac?… Chances are you have all the ingredients waiting to be thrown together and baked at 160 degrees!!

Anzac biscuits Makes 24

Preheat oven to 160 degrees

1 cup rolled oats

3/4 cup of coconut

1 cup plain flour

1 1/2 tspn bicarbonate soda

2 tbspn boiling water

1 cup sugar

125 g butter

1 tbspn golden syrup

Combine rolled oats, flour, sugar and coconut. Combine butter and golden syrup, stir over gentle heat until melted.

Mix soda with boiling water, add to melted butter mixture, stir into dried ingredients. Spoon dessertspoonfuls of mixture on greased oven trays, allow for room for spreading.

Bake in slow oven  for 20 mins. Loosen on trays while warm, allow to cool.

Eat , Enjoy…Share with those you love and treasure….

Lest we Forget

xxx

Mojito Cocktails

What could be a better friendship firestarter than the classic cocktail, the Mojito?

What is not to love about cuban rum, fresh mint leaves, Tahitian limes, sugar syrup , soda water, shaken and stirred, served in a glass tumbler with ice cubes?

The post is dedicated to my favourite cocktail, a drink I think I was first introduced to in Lagos, Portugal at a beach bar called Bahia. This literally was a beach bar, an old shack was turned into a make shift watering hole , you literally sat on the sand and drank the afternoon away. Perfect.

Bahia Bar, Lagos, Portugal

In researching for this post, I stumbled across Bahia’s website. I was in Portugal in 2001, when the bar was literally a shack, and one that was falling apart at the seams. I have fond memories of drinking on the verandah and the palm leaf roof collapsing  on my head as I enjoyed my afternoon drink with friends. Times have clearly changed…the website details that the shack came down in 2003 and in its place an a architecturally designed beach bungalow has been erected. But back to my focus on Mojitos…for it was a Bahia on a balmy Sunday afternoon drinking sessions that I first treated myself to a Mojito…just one ( for I was a backpacker and on money rashions). It was the beginning of a life long love affair with lime, rum and mint….

Summer 2011-2012 has been devoted to Mojito making….Armed with a bottle of Barcadi and all the essential ingredients to make this fun-loving summer cocktail, I turn up at birthdays and Christmas/New Years Eve events to spread the lime and mint goodness. The cocktail just oozes summer fun and if it helps to ignite the party vibe, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be in the kitchen, mixing up the mojito brew.

So to inspire readers, make you and your friends a drink, a mojito, sit back and let summer take care of the rest!!

Check out the Bacardi Rum Website for step by step instructions on how to make Mojito’s:

Bacardi Rum Mojito Recipe

Or follow this receipe, taken from the About.com website

The mojito was born in Havana, Cuba. There are many variations of the drink. This recipe calls for the five customary ingredients of mint, rum, powdered sugar, lime, and club soda. If you are throwing a Havana or Cuban theme party, plan on serving these fashionable yet traditional mojitos.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 mint leaves
  • 1 lime (for juicing)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar
  • 60mls white rum
  • 90 mls club soda
  • 1 sprig of mint (for garnishing)
  • crushed ice

Preparation:

1. Put the mint leaves into a colins glass and squeeze the lime juice over them.
2. Add the powdered sugar and then muddle the mint, lime juice and sugar together. Add crushed ice.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 111 other followers