Broccoli & Haloumi Fritters

I look forward to Sunday breakfast like a fat kid (who may or may not have been me…) looks forward to the home ice-cream van on a Saturday afternoon, heart beating in time with their echoing un-melodious bells and inferior ice creams. 

Luckily, what has me lining up on a Sunday morning amongst the masses of Marrickville is a little more cultured and health conscious than what some old dude driving an ice cream truck in the suburbs can offer.  

 

The Lion’s Share” by Fritter House at Marrickville Organic Food Markets

Beautiful organic veges, free range eggs, bacon, homemade chipolatas and corn fritters all made from local produce is where my head is at first thing Sunday (I am yet to fully defeat this feast but am determined).

So I thought I’d give fritters another go, but omit the corn which I am currently researching to see whether it  should pack it’s bags and leave my diet for good along with other nasty gut-harming grains. I have heard that we have played around with crops so much over the years that anyhealth benefits   are negligible these days:

The corn we have today is not like what we saw 200 years ago or 10,000 years ago, it’s been hybridized and genetically modified and this creates changes within the corn and also changes how our bodies handle the corn,” says Dr. Terry Wahls, clinical professor of medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and founder of The Wahls Foundation

http://q.equinox.com/articles/2013/08/corn

…Will continue researching to see whether my Sunday corn fritter days are over… What do you think? All comments welcome. 

This recipe was the result of both refusing to hit the markets in the rain on Sunday and experimenting with healthy corn-free fritter options. 

  

What you need:

  • 1 large head of broccoli (diced finely or grated)
  • 1/2 cup grated sweet potato 
  • 4 eggs
  • Small handful basil leaves 
  • 150g grated Haloumi 
  • 1/2 bunch shallots (diced)
  • 1/3 cup thick cream 
  • 2 tspn Butter or coconut oil (for frying) 
  • Salt and pepper


  

What you do:

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly. Heat oil in a large non stick frypan. Drop fritter sized portions of mix onto hot frypan and fry 1-2 mins before flipping. Keep warm in oven while you’re cooking the rest. 

  

  

Serve with lemon, basil or your favourite relish. 


Next time: I would try a blue cheese in addition or instead of Haloumi and throw in a few toasted pepitas for extra nutrition and texture ! 


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Zaatar Lamb Rolls

  

To me, there is something very special about Lebanese food. Maybe it’s growing up in western Sydney, maybe it’s the late night Manoosh runs (always a good idea) and their incredible Zaatar wraps:

Home

…maybe it’s the winning combination of earthy spices and zesty lemons, or mayyyybe… it’s the beautiful people that travel half way across the planet when you decide to live abroad to visit you and cook you a big pot of Shish Barak in your home, like this dear soul! Love ya Giney!!

   

 

Either way, it is forever a favourite of mine and a cuisine I crave on the regular. 

This recipe is my spin on a quick and easy lamb-stuffed eggplant, using Zaatar spices and fresh lemons and garlic. Fresh, nutritious and ready in 20 minutes. Serve with tahini, lemon and a fatoush or other simple salad.

What you need:

  • 1 large eggplant (sliced into long strips about 1cm thick)
  • 1 brown onion (diced)
  • 3 tablespoons Zaatar spices
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 bunch parsley, chopped
  • Small handful mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 kilo lamb mince 
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper

What you do:

Lightly salt eggplant slices and heat a grill with oil. Fry until chargrilled both sides (1-2 minutes). Set aside. 

Heat oil in large frypan and sauté onions and garlic 5 minutes. Add Zaatar spices, fry 1 minute then add lamb and brown. Add cinnamon, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and finally herbs and cook another minute until aromatic. 

  

Place lamb on eggplant and roll into neat little parcels. Alternatively, you could layer this into some kind of Lebanese-lasagne-like-labne creation and bake… Damn it why didn’t I think of that last night! 

  

Mocha Mousse w/ Fresh Figs

  

This accidental dessert was the result of a failed attempt at this tempting paleo treat:

http://paleomagazine.com/paleo-chocolate-truffles-recipe/

After clumsily pouring in too much coconut cream in an “I-don’t-need-no-goddamn-recipe!” moment, I stood hands on hips, contemplating aborting the whole mission… But, remembering that…

  

… I committed whole heartedly to the idea of a mousse-like dessert and poured a little extra coconut cream in for good measure. 

Not an un-delicious accident! I served this with fresh figs (which I’d serve with just about anything!) but any tart fruit or vanilla ice cream would be a treat.

Not a processed ingredient in sight, a little generous on the (healthy) fat content and quite indulgent – a little will satisfy!

  

What you need:

  • 1/2 cup cacao butter or coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao
  • 1/3 cup raw honey (or agave to veganise)
  • Pinch cinnamon
  • Teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 shot espresso
  • Pinch Himalayan salt
  • Fresh figs to serve

What you do:

Melt coconut oil or butter with cacao, vanilla, cinnamon salt and honey in a saucepan over low heat. Stir in coconut cream and espresso. Blend in food processor or blender for 1 minute then transfer to tray and refrigerate.

I served this with fig, almond meal, *chocolate sauce and 80% dark chocolate for extra deliciousness.

   

 

* Chocolate Sauce: melt 1/2 cup cacao butter with 1/2 cup raw cacao and 1/3 cup honey, coconut sugar or rice malt vinegar 

Chilli Tomato Relish

Love me a spicy condiment. This recipe will make good use of abundant chillies and tomatoes you may have grown or bought from the warmer months, to preserve and add flavour and heat to your meals as we head into the cooler seasons. 

  

I used about 15 long red chillies and removed most of the seeds to make sure the flavour of the chillies carried through without too much heat. You can adjust the intensity of the relish to your taste by using your preferred chillies. 

The flavours of the relish are balanced using natural sweeteners instead of sugar, so adjust to your taste. I used raw honey which worked beautifully to offset the heat and accentuate the sweetness in the tomatoes.

Chilli has great health benefits including aiding sinus congestion, digestion and adding a surprising big vitamin C hit to your meals. It also contains capsaicin, which is a known blood sugar stabiliser and anti-inflammatory among many other tricks as chilly willy points out!

 http://www.chilli-willy.com/chilli-health-benefits/

This recipe will make about 3 large jars and will keep in the fridge for at least 3 weeks.

What you need:

  • 500g red onions (chopped)
  • 1kg ripe tomatoes (or organic canned cherry tomatoes are beautiful too!)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 12-15 long red chillies (sliced) 
  • Thumb sized piece of ginger (chopped)
  • 2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Grass fed organic butter (coconut or olive oil to veganise)
  • 1/2 cup raw honey/coconut sugar/rice malt syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped coriander

What you do:

Sauté onions and garlic in butter for 5 mins over high heat. Add all other ingredients except salt, pepper and coriander and bring to a simmer. Turn to low heat and simmer for 45 minutes or until reduced. Pour half of it into a blender and wait til it cools a little (I learned this the hard way when my blender exploded hot relish far and wide!!)

Return to pot, add coriander to taste and simmer until it reduces even further (30 minutes). Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool. 

   

 

Seperate into steralised jars and store in the fridge. 

Kapow! Fat Balls

This is a recipe for those who enjoy the benefits of a diet rich in nutritious and nourishing oils and fats and are less concerned with counting calories or low fat diets. 

I’ve always thought of these balls as “protein balls” and they do contain some protein which is great for satiety and recovery, but it is the combination of healthy fats (essential fatty acids EFA’s) that make these a real powerhouse mini-meal and offer your body some very important health benefits. 



Good fat is not something we should fear! Decades of misinformation around dietary fats have conditioned us to be uncomfortable with eating it. Well, I’m not afraid to be a lover-of-fat and promote the delicious benefits of these (protein) fat balls! We need it for the proper functioning of nearly all biological processes within our bodies and deficiencies can lead to many common health problems:

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/omega3-fatty-acids

We are learning more about the links between EFA’s and cognitive function and how a diet rich in fats supports hormonal balance, promotes  blood circulation and reduces inflammation in the body:

http://www.lef.org/magazine/2007/10/report_depression/Page-01

The combination of healthy fats, protein and carbohydrate in these balls means the fat will slow the digestion process which will avoid an insulin-spike that would otherwise occur by eating the carbohydrate and whey protein alone. This means a sustained release of energy which will keep your body and mind buzzing for longer! 

What you need:

  • 250g almonds
  • 150g pepitas
  • 150g almond meal
  • 1 cup high quality protein powder 
  • 4 tblspn coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoon hemp seed oil
  • 3 tablespoon chia
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 3/4 cup raw cacao
  • 10 small dates (soaked in boiling water) 
  • Cinnamon and vanilla to taste 
  • Toasted coconut and sesame to roll them in

What you do:

Either throw everything into food processor and blitz or finely chop or morter and pestle it until desired. Roll into balls, toss in coconut and sesame and refrigerate 



Makes about 25