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

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Lemon, honey and ginger prawns with wild rice and quinoa.

If you like a sweet and sour combo then you’ll love this recipe. Quick, easy and cheap to make it’s a great mid-week meal  suitable for the whole family.

Lemon, honey and ginger prawns
Lemon, honey and ginger prawns

Ingredients

  • 400g of raw prawns
  • A selection of veg to stir fry (I’ve used sugar snap peas, yellow pepper, baby corns and courgette)
  • 100g wild whole grain rice
  • 100g red quinoa
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 inch cube of fresh ginger chopped finely
  • 2 tbsps honey
  • 1 organic Kalo vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Pinch of salt.

Cooking method

  1. Simmer the rice and quinoa in the vegetable stock for 10/15 minutes, drain and set aside
  2. While the rice is cooking add the juice from the lemon into a pan with the ginger and honey.
  3. Bring the mixture to the boil then simmer for 3 minutes then set aside. 
  4. In a frying pan cook the prawns in half the coconut oil and add the salt before transferring them to a hot wok. 
  5. Add your vegetables (I made courgetti from my courgettes) and pour in the sauce.
  6. With the remaining coconut oil stir fry the prawns and vegetables for a few minutes then add the cooked rice and quinoa.
  7. Serve immediately. 

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes (including rice/quinoa cooking time)  

Moroccan Turkey with chickpeas

A twist on the standard turkey chilli which is a staple in my household, is Moroccan turkey with chickpeas. Instead of chilli heat the flavour comes from the blend of spices which infuses the meat and chickpeas. 

Great served with a green salad, couscous, flat bread and mint and yogurt dip, or brown rice or quinoa.

Moroccan turkey with chickpeas
Moroccan turkey with chickpeas

Moroccan spice blend

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Ingredients

  • 1 pack of ground turkey breast
  • 1 can of drained chickpeas
  • 1 carton of passata
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps of coconut oil
  • 1 tsp salt

Cooking Method

  1. Blend all the spices together and mix with I tablespoon of coconut oil
  2. With the other tablespoon of coconut oil fry the onions, pepper and carrots and set aside.
  3. Heat the spices and coconut oil mix in a non stick pan and fry the turkey mince, once cooked through add the salt, vegetables, chickpeas and passata. 
  4. Bring to the boil then summer for 20 minutes until the sauce reduces. 

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

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 

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

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

Chicken and chickpea slow cooker casserole 

As the nights draw in and the heating is turned on to keep the chill at bay my food choices immediately turn to hearty, bone-warming meals which quite often means casseroles, stews and roasts. 

Tonight was one of those nights so I dusted off the slow cooker and made my favourite casserole. 

Even though it’s packed with veggies – seven to be exact, it’s a firm family favourite evidenced by my two children hoovering it up in minutes!! 

Cooking in a slow cooker (crockpot) doesn’t take much brain power as you literally chuck all the ingredients in the pot and let the cooking process create the magic. The real test is being patient and letting the casserole cook for five hours plus. 

 

chicken and chickpea casserole
Chicken and chickpea casserole

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 filleted chicken thighs
  • 3 tbsps coconut oil
  • 1 carton of passata
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 2 tsps coriander seeds
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp rock salt
  • 1 onion
  • 1 courgette
  • 200g chopped swede
  • Handful of mushrooms
  • 3 carrots
  • 200g chopped aubergine
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion salt
  • 200ml cold water.

Cooking method

  1. Brown off the chicken thighs in the coconut oil
  2. In a pestle and mortar mash the rock salt, garlic, cumin seeds and coriander seeds into a paste and add to the slow cooker along with the chicken and drained chickpeas
  3. Chop all the vegetables into cubes and add to the slow cooker along with the passata and onion salt.
  4. Add water and mix all the ingredients well.
  5. Turn the cooker up to high and cook for a minimum of five hours.   

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 5 hours

Serves 6

Quickie chicken nuggets

Want something which is healthy, quick and your kids will love too?

If yes to all of the above make yourself and the family some of these nuggets! 

Healthy chicken nuggets
Healthy chicken nuggets
 
Sorry the photo is not my usual quality but I made these at 9.30 pm after dashing in from a boxing class and had 10 minutes to spare before having a sports massage!

Cooking Ingredients

400g mini chicken fillets

1 egg

100g almonds 

1 tbsp smoked paprika

1 tbsp onion salt

(Serves 2)

Cooking method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 180c
  2. Blitz the almonds, paprika and onion salt in a food processor until you have a breadcrumb-like consistency 
  3. Beat the egg and dip the mini fillets in before transferring them to the almond crumbs
  4. Make sure you turn the fillets both sides so every piece of chicken is fully coated
  5. Shake off any excess crumbs then put on a baking tray and cook for 20 minutes. 

Serve with salad, homemade ‘slaw’ and roasted sweet potato wedges.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes