Chinese sesame pork balls

Dead easy to make but packed full of flavour, and the bonus is they’re incredibly low fat too – even more so if you substitute minced pork for minced turkey breast meat.

Chinese seasame pork balls
Chinese seasame pork balls


Ingredients

  • 400g pack of minced pork (or minced turkey breast)
  • 2 tsps of Chinese five spice
  • Salt and papper
  • 1 tsp of granulated garlic powder
  • 100g sesame seeds
  • 100 ml gluten free soy sauce
  • 3 tbsps of Honey

Cooking method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c
  2. Add the mince, five spice, salt and pepper and garlic granules into a bowl and combine
  3. With your hands, make small balls with the mixture approx the size of a golf ball – mixture should make 8-10 balls
  4. Put the sesame seeds on a plate and roll each ball in them until they’re entirely covered
  5. Put the balls onto a baking tray covered with silver foil and cook for 30-40 minutes. They’re cooked when the sesame seeds turn light brown
  6. While the balls are cooking add the soy sauce and honey to a pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer until the sauce has reduced to a syrup-like consistency. 
  7. When ready to serve pour the sauce of the balls.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serving ideas: serve with Stir fried vegetables, courgetti, rice or noodles


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Blueberry banana bread

Yes the invention test… What to do with a bunch of bananas which are over ripe and a punnet of blueberries which are begging to be used in something more interesting and a smoothie, the answer is cake! Well more cake-bread.

blueberry banana bread
Blueberry banana bread

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 225g quinoa flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 60ml melted coconut oil 
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon 
  • 125g fresh blueberries 

Cooking Method

  1. Turn the oven onto 170c 
  2. Line a loaf tin with grease proof paper 
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork in a bowl and add all the wet ingredients – honey, eggs, vanilla essence and coconut oil. Mix together
  4. In a seperate bowl combine all the dry ingridents – flour, baking powder and cinnamon 
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well
  6. Add the blueberries and stir gently 
  7. Pour the mixture into the loaf tin
  8. Place in the oven and cook for 55 minutes
  9. Cool before cutting

cake batter
The cake batter should have a thick consistency

loaf tin
Pour the batter into a loaf tin

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

cooked banana bread
Leave to cool for half an hour

Sesame-easy salmon

I love salmon but it can get boring eating it the same old way week in, week out so to add some interest and yummy flavours try this recipe. 

The marinade adds the depth of flavour while the sesame seeds adds additional nutty flavours as well as texture. 

seasame salmon
seasame salmon
 
Ingredients 

  • 100g sesame seeds
  • 2 salmon fillets (boneless and skinless)
  • Gluten free soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 star anise 
  • 1 inch-size piece of fresh ginger 

Cooking method

  • Heat the oven to 170c
  • Roughly chop the spring onions, ginger and garlic
  • Blend the soy and honey together and add in the onions, ginger and garlic
  • Crush the star anise in a pestle and add to the mixture. 
  • Pour over the raw salmon fillets (in a shallow dish) and marinate for 24 hours. Turn the fillets over half way through
  • The salmon should absorb most of the marinade and the texture should have become quite sticky
  • Brush off the lumps of ginger, garlic, spring onion etc so the fillets are smooth
  • Sprinkle the sesame seeds on a plate and rolls the fillets in them coating each side (or just the top if you prefer) 
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes until the sesame seeds just start to turn brown. 

Serve with courgetti, stir-fried vegetables or rice. 

Preparation time: 24 hours to marinade. 30 minutes to cook. 

Serves 2 

Banana and chocolate loaf

What else is there to make when you have a bunch of bananas that have ripened beyond being edible… banana bread of course. 

You don’t need to add dark chocolate but for me it actually helps cut through the sweetness of the bananas, as does adding nuts to the top too.

Banana and chocolate loaf
Banana and chocolate loaf

Ingredients 

  • 200g of gluten free flour, coconut flour or quinoa flour (I used coconut flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (beaten) 
  • 3 mashed ripe bananas 
  • 150ml maple syrup
  • 100ml melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g crushed almonds or walnuts
  • 75g dark chocolate (70% cocoa mass)

Cooking Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180c
  2. In one bowl mix the flour, baking soda and salt together 
  3. In another bowl mix the eggs, vanilla essence, bananas, maple syrup and coconut oil 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine
  5. Break-up the chocolate into small pieces and add to the mix.
  6. Transfer the mixture to a lined standard size loaf (I use silicon liners)
  7. Then sprinkle the crushed nuts on the top to finish
  8. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 45-55 minutes.
  9. Transfer to a cooling rack and remove the paper when cool. 

 

Loaf  mixture  prepared and ready to cook
Loaf mixture prepared and ready to cook
 
Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 44-55 minutes

Makes 10 slices 

Marvellous mousakka 

I’ve finally cracked how to make a white sauce that doesn’t require a thickening agent such as flour, which is great news as not only does it work on moussaka I’m betting it’ll taste great in rice or pasta (gluten free) dishes too. 

Mousakka is a bit of labour of love as it does take a bit of prep but the end result it well worth the wait.

 

healthy, clean eating mousaka
Healthy, clean eating mousaka
 
Ingredients 

  • 400g of organic beef or lamb mince
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 200g chopped mushrooms
  • 1 clove of crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsps of coconut oil 
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil
  • 2 small aubergines 
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 1 small carton of passata 
  • Seasoning 

For the white sauce 

  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 50g grated Parmesan (optional)
  • 3 tbsps of Greek yoghurt
  • 50 ml almond milk 

Cooking method

  1. Fry off the mince (with no oil) and set aside to rest
  2. Fry off the chopped onion, mushrooms, peppers and garlic in the coconut oil 
  3. Add the mince back and add the passata, mixed herbs and garlic salt and simmer for 10 minutes
  4. While the filling is simmering slice the aubergine thinly and lay on a baking tray and coat with the olive oil. Bake at 180c for 30 mins turning over half way though.
  5. For the sauce add all the ingredients – mustard, Parmesan, yoghurt and almond milk in a blender and blitz
  6. In a square oven proof dish layer the mince and aubergine and pour the white sauce on the top
  7. Optional: grate more Parmesan on the top too
  8. Bake on 180c for 20-30 minutes.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20-30 minutes

Serves 4 

It’s a wrap – flaxseed fabulousness¬†

I felt I needed a big hit of fibre today so decided to have a flaxseed wrap for lunch. The wrap literally takes five minutes to make and taste lovely. 

Flaxseed wrap
Flaxseed wrap
 
Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp ground flaxseed (you can buy organic packets of milled flaxseed)
  • 2 tbsp water
  • A pinch of salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 tsp of baking powder
  • Coconut oil for frying 

Cooking Method:

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a small omelette pan
  3. Pour in the batter and spread out evenly like you were making a pancake
  4. Cook for a minute then flip over and cook for another minute
  5. Transfer to a plate and wait for the wraps to cool down before adding the filling.

Preparation time: 2 minutes

Cooking time: 2 minutes

Makes two wraps

Magic chicken broth

Now I won’t go as far as saying this broth has super magical powers but it is a life saver if you have a cold, upset stomach or are feeling off colour.

Chicken broth made with proper (homemade) chicken stock has many health benefits and for me, the most important are the immunity fighting properties and the positive effect it has on digestion. 

Chicken broth
Chicken broth
 

Ingredients 

  • 1 pint of homemade chicken stock (made from boiled bones/chicken carcass)
  • 400g cooked chicken – ideally from the roast chicken you used to make the stock
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • A handful of baby corn 
  • 5 spring onions
  • A handful of mushrooms
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 100g of gluten free spaghetti
  • Salt and pepper to season

Cooking method

  1. Roughly chop up the chicken and vegetables and place in a slow cooker
  2. Next add the broth and garlic (crushed)
  3. Break up the spaghetti into small pieces (about 3 cm long) and add to the pot
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Leave to slow cook for at least 5 hours. 

The spaghetti will dissolve and thicken the broth leaving a rich, creamy texture.

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 hours minimum

Putting the Ho!, Ho!, Ho! into Christmas instead of the no, no, no…

Chocolate peppermint meringue trees

Let’s face it, if you’re eating clean, are gluten free, dairy free or vegan, the thought of Christmas and all the food and drink it involves, it can seem like quite a complex time when you want to join in and enjoy all the season has to offer but also still avoiding all the food that you don’t usually eat.

Well, why should we miss out? There’s always alternative ingredients and recipe adaptations which mean we can still enjoy all of the food, and God forbid, serve it to visiting friends and family who I bet won’t even notice the difference.

So, sit back and take a look at my ten best recipe suggestions covering everything from mince pies, to cranberry sauce and stuffing. I’ve trawled the internet so you don’t have to.

Also remember, don’t like a particular ingredient? Fine, change it for an alternative you like (or have), after all these are just suggestions, there’s a million ways to skin a cat!

Christmas pudding
Christmas pudding recipe by tanyazuoez.com

 

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Pumpkin, beef and chickpea stew

I love it when I ask the kids what they’d like for dinner and the suggestions that come back are all healthy. 

Yesterday my son requested prawn and chicken Thai curry and today my daughter requested “that yummy stuff with the rounds beans in it”. It took me a minute to deduce she meant chick peas, so of course I made it for her – what she meant was stew. 

 

Pumpkin, beef and chickpea stew
Pumpkin, beef and chickpea stew
 
The best thing about this stew is that it uses seasonal ingredients as its flavour base – pumpkins and tons of fresh turmeric. 

Ingredients 

  1. 500g organic stewing beef
  2. 1 small pumpkin or squash. I used one small blue ballet pumpkin
  3. 100g of fresh turmeric fingers
  4. 1 tin of tomatoes
  5. 1 onion
  6. 1 tin of chickpeas in water
  7. 1 litre of organic beef stock
  8. 1 clove of garlic

Cooking method

  • Melt the coconut oil and brown the meat in a pan
  • Add the browned meat to a slow cooker
  • In the same pan brown the onion and garlic which can be chopped roughly into strips
  • Once soft also add this to the slow cooker
  • Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and beef stock and stir
  • Peel and chop the squash/pumpkin into cubes and also add to the pan along with the turmeric which apart from washing needs no prep.
  • Season with salt and pepper and slow cook for 7 hours.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 7 hours

Serves 6