As I mentioned earlier, I’m looking after my parents house for a few weeks so that I can look after the numerous items that need taking care of including our dog, Caddie, and the four chickens that my parents also own. I love that my parents have chickens because nothing beats fresh, free range eggs! Here’s a photo from a year or so ago showing the mansion that they live in, designed and hand built by my dad! They really do live a luxurious life, no wonder their eggs are so yummy!
However, the problem I’ve recently been experiencing is that there is only one of me here and four chickens. Each chicken lays one egg a day. This would not normally be a problem if a full household lived here. But one person eating maximum two eggs a day (if that!) is resulting in a surplus of eggs. 4 eggs laid – 2 being eaten = 2 extra eggs per day = several dozen eggs in the fridge.
So, what to do with all these eggs? A friends mum the other day suggested a frittata! Excellent idea. Frittatas are also great because you can put basically whatever you want in them and you’ve got yourself a delicious meal! Great for using up vegetables and also great for leftovers to take as an easy lunch to work/school/uni etc. So based on what I had in the fridge, I made myself a Mediterranean inspired frittata for lunch! But like I said, you can put anything in these things!
2 tbsp lite milk
Spinach (I used frozen spinach I found in the freezer coz its easier to stir in)
Eggplant (fresh from the vege patch my parents have!)
Parmesan cheese (I just used up what I had left which was literally less than the size of my thumb)
Oregano (or other herbs of your choice)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- Chop the eggplant and mushroom into slices and fry off with some EVOO to cook it a little bit before going in the oven. I cooked these in a clove of garlic.
- Whisk together the eggs, milk, herbs and pepper.
- Chop up all the other vegetables and mix ALL the veges in the egg mixture.
- Pour the mixture into a greased glass dish.
- Cook in the oven for anywhere between 20 – 50 minutes, or until there is no liquid left. Mine took about 40 minutes.
- Let it sit for 5 or so minutes and serve!
Perfect as a side to meal if you cut it into 8 portions, otherwise you could also eat it as meal! I had mine with a salad and it tasted perfecto! You can freeze the other portions and reheat later when you’re short on time for a meal. Easy peasy!
I’ll leave you with a picture of Caddie, the day she decided to break into the chook pen to get the scraps and she let all the chickens out.. How can you get angry at that face?? xo
Last but not least, a warm vege packed dip that I served in a wholemeal Vienna loaf. My friend Amanda made this when I was in Sydney so I asked for the recipe coz it was super yummy! I changed it a wee bit coz the original had mayo in it but I substituted it for Greek yogurt instead 🙂 it’s got a fair bit of cheese in it but as long as it doesn’t have any preservatives or additives I’m okay with that – its a dip that would serve about 15 people so for a party or entertaining its fine!
Warm Cheesy Spinach & Artichoke Dip
400gm can of artichokes in water
250 – 300 gm frozen spinach (thawed)
1/4 cup spring onion (I just used one spring onion), chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 cup low fat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup light sour cream
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (don’t buy the pre shredded stuff – they add preservatives to it to keep it like that!)
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese (again, buy a block and grate it yourself!) – the amount of cheese is up to you depending on how cheesy you like it 🙂
1 wholemeal cob loaf (or Vienna loaf in my case coz they didn’t have wholemeal cob)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- In a food processor, chop up the artichokes, garlic, spring onion and spinach
- Combine the rest of ingredients in a bowl
- Place in an oven proof dish (I sprayed mine with olive oil just to be safe) and bake for 20-25 mins until hot and cheese is melted.
- Cut a whole in the middle of the bread and rip up the bread into bite size pieces – place the bits around the loaf and put in the oven for the last 5 minutes so make the bread crispy and warm.
- Spoon the dip into the middle of the bread and serve immediately!
To make it gluten free, obviously serve it with gluten free bread or in a separate bowl with crackers, carrot sticks and so on!
Delicious! Here’s a photo of me looking super proud as I serve it up hehe 😉
Now I’m off to enjoy my last day of freedom with 2 of my best friends and goddaughter in Freo! I start my teaching prac on Monday for the whole of term 3! So hopefully ill be posting some more but it will be a pretty full on 8 weeks so see how I go! Wish me luck 🙂
And dessert number two from Saturday night was Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies – but they’re not your average cookie… To make them gluten free, the dough is actually made from… Wait for it – CHICKPEAS! You’re mind blown right? I didn’t believe they would work and actually taste okay, but better than that they tasted AMAZING! Some of the girls said they were even better than normal cookies… Maybe even the best cookies they’ve ever had! So another winner right here. A really fun thing to do is actually get a person to take a bite first and once they’re saying ‘oh my gosh this is amazing!’ to actually tell them the main ingredient 😉
[Chickpea] Peanut Butter & Choc Chip Cookies
Makes 12 – 15 depending on size
400gm can of chickpeas (no added salt) – you’ll need to just dry them on some paper towel
1/2 cup NATURAL peanut butter (100% peanuts)
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/4 cup honey
Drizzle of olive oil (I used extra virgin and maybe only used a teaspoon or so)
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (you can use more if you wish but I didn’t use so much because the only chocolate chips I could find weren’t more than 70% which means more sugar the lower the percent!)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line a baking tray with baking paper (I sprayed it lightly with olive oil too)
- Make sure chick peas are dried off and purée in a food processor until the ‘dough’ is completely smooth
- Add all the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and purée some more
- Pour into a bowl and mix in the Choc chips
- Spoon out the dough onto the parchment – dont even try to flatten them or make them into perfect cookie shapes – it’s pretty sticky and you’ll just end up getting frustrated 😉 who needs perfect circles anyway? That’s boring 😛
- Bake for about 13 – 15 mins.
- Leave them to sit for 5 minutes or so as they harden up a bit once they cool – otherwise they’re pretty mushy and you can’t pick them up 🙂
Another healthy hit! So good for kids (what kids don’t love making and eating cookies?) but a group of 20 something girls loved them too 😉
I know, I know! It’s been a verrrrry long time since I’ve posted! I do apologise but sometimes life gets busy – but I’m making up for it by giving you not one, not two but THREE new recipes today. And you are in for a treat too – not tooting my own horn but they tasted amazing! So hopefully I will be forgiven for my disappearance on the blog scene 😉
I cooked up a culinary storm last night because my roommates and I decided to throw a girls wine, cheese & dessert night with some friends. It was a night of indulging but at least the desserts I put together were guilt free (and gluten free for my coeliac roommate who will now love me forever!). So whilst i wait for the the other girls who are still sleeping (my body clock loves to wake me up no matter what day it is or how late I went to bed) I’m going to share with you the first dessert – Banana and Walnut Fudge. Super easy to prepare and was the winner of the night! Found the recipe on thegraciouspantry.com
Banana & Walnut Fudge
Makes about 24 pieces (depending how you cut it)
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup pure and unsweetened cocoa powder
1 medium ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a small sauce pot, melt the oil.
- Whisk in the cocoa powder while the oil is still warm
- In a food processor, blend the banana, dates and vanilla extract. (I had to use the stick blender towards the end to get a really smooth consistency)
- Add the chocolate to the processor and blend until smooth and well combined.
- Pour into a small, parchment lined baking dish and place dish in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I used a spatula (the thing you use to scrape bowls with?) to press it down and smooth it around the tray and it was super easy!
- Cut into 24 pieces (a pizza cutter works great)
Hands down favourite of the night by all of the girls and I’m lucky there’s still some left in the fridge for dessert tonight 😉 I forgot to get a photo of the fudge cut up so here is one of me looking very pleased with myself holding a plate of it and also the dessert that features in Part II of the girls night!
This week I’m staying at my parents house in Mandurah so I can study for exams without distractions (nice town but there isn’t much to do… Hence why I come here to study) so I decided to be a lovely daughter and cook dinner tonight! Apologies if my writing is all over the place – a whole day of study has sapped my creativity (evidence: just had to google whether ‘sapped’ is a word or if I just made it up…)
Anyway, found this recipe for ‘Italian Crustless Quiche’ on cleaneatingmag.com.au and I just added more vegetables! Made this dish a couple weeks ago with some close friends of mine and it was that good that I decided to make it again 🙂
Crustless Vegetable Quiche
Makes 6 large (dinner portion) servings or 12 smaller (side) servings
- 2 cups eggplant, chopped into cubes
- 1 cup zucchini, chopped into cubes
- 1 cup red capsicum, chopped
- 1 – 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil (for frying pan)
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 cup fresh basil, torn in pieces
- Or any assortment of mixed herbs
- 3/4 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees (200 fan forced).
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, onion and garlic in oil for 10 minutes (or until soft and browned). Take off the heat.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk eggs, milk, black pepper, thyme and oregano (or the herbs that you have).
- Add egg mixture, basil and mozzarella and spinach leaves to vegetable mixture. Gently stir until eggs and mozzarella are evenly distributed among vegetables.
- Mist a round or square glass pan with cooking spray (I didn’t do this and it was fine – easy to clean). Pour in egg-vegetable mixture. Place in oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes to set quiche.
While this is cooking my amazing Mum made her ‘infamous’ (it’s infamous now coz she’s made it twice) Raw Pad Thai to have as well. The recipe (from here) says it’s best to leave it in the fridge for a day but it still tasted amazing being made half an hour before consumption.
Raw Pad Thai
- 2 medium zucchinis
- 2 large carrots
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 cup shredded purple cabbage
- 1 cup cauliflower florets
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts or radish sprouts (spicy) (optional)
- ½ cup crushed peanuts (optional)
- ½ cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro (optional)
- ¼ cup tahini
- ¼ cup almond butter (or cashew butter, or a blend of both)
- 2 tbsp lime or lemon juice
- ¼ cup tamari (select a wheat free version for gluten-free diets)
- 2 tbsp agave (or maple syrup)
- ½ tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ginger root, grated
- Use a spiralizer (or mandolin or vegetable peeler) to create noodles from the carrot and zucchini. Place them in a large mixing bowl and top with the other vegetables.
- Whisk sauce ingredients in a bowl. The sauce will be thick, but will thin out after it’s mixed with the vegetables.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables and toss.
Voila – delicious and nutritious dinner is made! Even Dad said he liked it 😉 and there’s heaps of leftovers too. Bonus!
And that’s it from me – I’m out! Brain is officially mush. Need to go off and recharge before another full day of study tomorrow… xo
Although it’s technically not winter yet, the temperature drop recently has made me feel like it is (10 degrees at night is cold right? Maybe its just the tiles in my room making me feel like I’m in an igloo…)
And a cold “winter” night to me says roasted vegetables! The smell of rosemary wafting through the kitchen is a comforting one – it just always reminds me of home. My parents always cook up a mean roast but I don’t think they would have ever thought they’d see the day when I would make a big batch of roast veges for myself (to say that I was a ‘fussy eater’ when I was younger is a slight understatement… sorry guys! :P)
I decided to whip up a quick quinoa salad too as a side – easy to make and just adds something else to the meal since I’m not roasting any meat. Both meals take minimal preparation and will make heaps of leftovers!
When I started preparing my veges I realised that I didn’t have any rosemary in the house – I ummed and ahhed for a while but made the decision to run down to the IGA and grab some and it was definitely a good call. Garlic and rosemary go together like peas and corn (except I don’t like peas so that’s never been a combo that works for me ;)). I took the scenic route to make it worthwhile and got treated to a pretty view of Perth across the Swan River (sorry iPhone quality).
Winter Roast Vegetables
Prep: 10 mins (or 20mins if you need to run down to the IGA like me!)
Cooking: 45 – 60 mins
Ingredients (not limited to these – add in veges to your hearts content!)
- Sweet Potato
- Red onion
- Cup mushrooms
- Eggplant (not a traditional roast vege but I needed to use it so in it went!)
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh Rosemary sprigs
- Mixed herbs
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Turn oven on to 190 degrees.
- Cut up all the veges (except the mushrooms-keep those separate) into pieces (doesn’t matter what size or shape, although thinner/smaller cook quicker) and place in a mixing bowl. Cut up garlic into smallish pieces (or keep them whole).
- Pour 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil, a tablespoon or so of mixed herbs and several springs of rosemary in the bowl.
- Mix together so that all the pieces are coated with the oil and herbs.
- Place all vegetables on a wire rack that is sitting on top of a baking tray wrapped with aluminium foil. Spread the veges out so they have some breathing space and place in the oven.
- Cook for anywhere between 45 mins to an hour. They should be easily pierced with a fork when they’re ready. Keep checking on them at 20 minute intervals, turning the veges if they need it. Place the whole cup mushrooms in the tray at the first 20 minute mark.
Warm Quinoa, Avocado & Feta Salad
Prep: 5 mins
Cooking: 15 – 20 mins
- 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (makes about 1 cup cooked quinoa)
- 1/2 avocado
- Baby spinach leaves
- 1/2 small shallot (thinly sliced)
- Cherry tomatoes
- Low fat Feta cheese
- Walnuts (cut into smaller pieces)
- Red capsicum
- Green capsicum
- Dried parsley flakes
- Cook quinoa as per instructions (I did mine on the stove top: rinse quinoa in a sieve before adding to a saucepan, add 1 cup of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 mins or until the liquid is absorbed. Keep an eye on it and stir occasionally).
- Mash the avocado in a bowl before adding to the quinoa and mix together. Leave to cool slightly.
- Place in a bowl and add other ingredients (you be the judge of how much of each you want! I’ve never been one for exact quantities for this kind of thing – although remember to get the right portion size of the cheese!)
And dinner is served! Definitely a happy and satisfied tummy tonight 🙂 which I will need to get me through the study I’m planning on powering through! Exam time makes for such exciting Saturday nights… #unistudentlife