Grain free banana muffins

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I’ve finally found a recipe for grain free muffins that doesn’t use any sugar substitutes.  It relies on the bananas for sweetness (which is plentyūüėä). 
These are so easy to make and freeze really well too.

Grain free banana muffins
* 5 eggs
*  2 bananas
*  1/4 cup coconut oil or butter (softened)
*  1/2 cup coconut flour
*  1 tsp baking soda
*  1 tsp vanilla
*  extra milk to thin out mixture if needed

Preheat oven to 200¬įC.
Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Using a stick blender, mix until smooth.  Use a little milk if the mixture is too thick.
Pour into greased muffin tins (or use paper baking cups – inexpensive to buy and so easyūüėČ).
Bake in the oven for 13-15 minutes or until browned and set in the middle.

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Dark chocolate chip pumpkin bread

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I found this recipe on Pinterest – I love Pinterest!!!

It turned out lovely and moist and the dark chocolate gives it a big punch of flavour when you bite into them.  I used fresh pumpkin which was a little watery so added shredded coconut into the cake mix.  I swapped the pecans for walnuts and topped it with slivered almonds instead of the coconut flake

DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP PUMPKIN BREAD

  • 1 & 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 3/4 cup mashed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp bi-carb soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • Handful of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins or cranberries (optional)

Mix almond meal, bi-carb, baking powder and spices into a bowl.  Stir in eggs and honey, and mix until combined. Stir in pumpkin.  Fold in pecans, chocolate chips and raisins/cranberries. Pour batter into a well-greased baking pan and sprinkle coconut flakes on top.  Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees C. 

Serve at room temp with lashings of fresh butter or cream cheese.

Link to original recipe – 

Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread

Mexican beef soup

It’s winter time again and I love nothing better than a big bowl of hearty soup. ¬†This was one of those recipes that evolved as I made it. ¬†I didn’t actually set out to make soup, but that’s how it turned out and it was delicious!

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mexican beef soup

  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 chorizo sausage, sliced
  • 500g beef mince
  • 1 carrot, diced or grated
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

Brown onion and celery in a large frypan in some butter and/or olive oil until softened. ¬†Add garlic and cook for another minute or so. ¬†Add chorizo and mince and cook until mince is browned. ¬†Add carrots, zucchini, tomato and spices and stir to combine. ¬†Season with salt and pepper. ¬†Add enough water to cover and bring to the boil. ¬†Simmer for 20-30 minutes. ¬†You can adjust the amount of water to suit your soupy preference ūüôā

I served this with grated cheese and a big dollop of sour cream!

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Swedish breakfast buns

I found this recipe for a low-carb bun, and I’ve fallen in love with them!!! ¬†They are so tasty and so easy to make it’s ridiculous…

These are my new everyday alternative to bread… ¬†Breakfast, lunch or dinner. ¬†They have a texture similar to crumpets, and they hold together beautifully. ¬† I took one to a bbq recently and grilled it on the bbq – it tasted so good, I’ve pretty much been grilling them every time since (but you don’t have to!).

I’ve used these as a burger bun, toasted with cream cheese, mini pizza base or just with lashings of butter and peanut paste (yum)!

 

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Swedish Breakfast Buns

  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds (linseeds)
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons psyllium husk
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.  Mix almond flour, seeds, psyllium husk, salt and baking powder in a bowl.  Add eggs, olive oil and sour cream and mix together.

** Let sit for 10 mins **

Cut dough into 4 pieces (this will be a fairly soft damp dough).  Shape into balls and place in a cake pan (you will need a pan with sides Рnot a tray).  Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Notes

You can spoon the mixture into smaller individual pans (I do Рits easier than playing with a sticky dough).  You must still leave the mixture to sit for at least 5 mins.

I usually add garlic salt or a spice mix as it adds a nice bit of flavour. ¬†I’m going to try jalapenos next!

Coconut flour tortillas

I’ve been following a low carb diet for a few months now and while I haven’t really missed bread all that much, I was missing my tortillas! I found this recipe which works really well. It’s got a different taste and texture but holds together really well, and also works pretty well as a pizza base. However, don’t try using it in tortilla pie or enchiladas etc… It kind of disintegrates during cooking!

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Coconut flour tortillas

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 tablespoons psyllium husk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, softened

1 cup boiling water or stock

1/2 teaspoon Mexican spices, optional

in a medium sized bowl, stir together the coconut flour, psyllium husk, salt and spices. Add the butter or coconut oil. Stir and gradually add the boiling water – it will melt the butter. Combine until smooth. Divide dough into quarters and place one piece between 2 sheets of greased baking paper. Use a rolling pin to roll out to a thin circle shape. You can then cook these In a couple of different ways. My favourite is to cook it on a sandwich press. This flattens it out nicely and cooks evenly on both sides. You could also use a frying pan. I find this leaves you with a slightly thicker tortilla. Either way works well for me…

Keep tortillas in the freezer, as they don’t keep well. I find popping them under the sandwich press for about 30 seconds or so is enough to defrost them quickly and they cope well with being frozen.

 

 

 

Zucchini Fritters

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These are quick and easy, and so tasty. I served these up with some bbq chook, baby spinach, grilled pumpkin and avocado for my dinner tonight.

Zucchini fritters

1 large zucchini, grated
Salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup almond meal
Chopped herbs
Parmesan cheese

Sprinkle salt over the grated zucchini and set aside for 10-15 mins. Pile zucchini into a clean cloth and wring out. Place in a bowl with remaining ingredients and mix well. Heat butter or olive oil over medium heat. Place spoonfuls of batter into pan and smooth out top. Cook until sides start to brown and flip to cook other side.

You could try adding bacon or other flavoring or herbs. I sprinkled in some turmeric which turns the fritters a nice shade of yellow.

Roasted beetroot and lamb risotto

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One of my favourite meals is risotto. It’s easy and versatile, and a great way to use up leftover meat and veg…
I used leftover roast lamb from the freezer and freshly roasted beetroots straight from dad’s garden. I diced the beetroots and roasted them with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and mixed herbs. You can use the canned variety for convenience…

Roasted beetroot and lamb risotto

Olive oil and butter
1 cup arborio rice
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 litre chicken stock (homemade if you’ve got it!), heated
Lamb and roasted beetroot
Grated Parmesan

Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a minute or so. Add the rice and cook, stirring until the rice starts to “pop”. Add roughly 1/3 cup of stock and mix through. Once most of this stock is absorbed, add more stock. Once all the stock has been added, add the beetroot and lamb and stir through. Add Parmesan cheese to your taste. I love lots! Serve with more Parmesan!

Very very tasty, and freezes well.

Irish Stew

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Winter is here… and it’s time for stews and casseroles!
This is a favourite of mine. Hubby and I both love lamb, and this is such a lovely easy recipe. I always use the slow cooker for this, and the longer it cooks for, the better it tastes! You can of course do this in the oven.

You can use any cut of lamb – I usually make this with the offcuts from a side of lamb (the ones you can’t do much else with) or the lamb shoulder chops. If your lamb is really fatty, you can skim the fat from the top once its cooked.

Irish Stew

1.25kg lamb neck chops
1/2 cup plain flour
3 brown onions, chopped
1 kg potatoes, peeled and sliced
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups boiling water
3 beef stock cubes, crumbled
1 cup chopped parsley
mint leaves, to serve

Cut chops in half. Place flour in a plastic bag and season with salt and pepper. Place chops in bag and shake well to coat. Transfer chops to a plate. Reserve flour. (At this point, I usually brown the chops in a frypan – this adds a lovely flavour to the stew, but is not necessary). Preheat oven to 130C. Place half the onions, potato and carrots in a large casserole dish. Top with half the chops. Place remaining vegetables and chops on top in layers. Whisk reserved flour, tomato paste, and 2 tablespoons cold water in a large jug until well combined. Slowly add boiling water, whisking constantly. Stir in stock cubes and parsley. Pour mixture over vegies and lamb. Cover and cook for 4-5 hours. Sprinkle with mint to serve.

For the slow cooker – Place all vegetables in the slow cooker and top with the lamb before pouring over the stock mixture. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours before turning temp down to LOW. Cook for another 4-8 hours.

Dad’s famous beef and tomato soup

imageThis one’s an old favourite in my family.¬† We call it “Dad’s” because he’s the one who makes it (he’s pretty darn good in the kitchen!), but he actually got the recipe out of a very old Woman’s Weekly cookbook.

This is a very filling soup – it’s a meal in itself…

Beef & tomato soup

1/2 cup uncooked rice

4 rashers bacon, diced

250g beef mince

2 beef stock cubes

1 onion, chopped

500g tomatoes, chopped

salt and pepper

Cook rice in 2 1/2 cups boiling salted water until tender.  Do not drain.  Saute meats together until browned, breaking up mince with a fork.  Add to cooked rice with 2 cups of water.  Mix well.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add stock cubes and onion and bring to the boil.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 45mins.  Add tomatoes and simmer for a further 15mins.

 

I often use a can of diced tomatoes instead of fresh – it tastes just as good and I always have canned tomatoes.

You can add small diced vegetables such as potato, sweet potato or others if you like.

 

 

Ricotta & pea tarts

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I tried these out at our work Melbourne Cup lunch – they went down a treat!

These are very easy to make and delicious…

Ricotta & pea tarts

2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, thawed  (puff pastry works well too)

300ml thickened cream

3 eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons dried basil

200g fresh ricotta

1/2 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan

Mixed salad, to serve

Preheat oven to 200C.  Grease 8 holes of a texas muffin pan.  Cut each pastry sheet into quarters (squares).  Carefully press squares into prepared holes in tray.  Gently roll down the pointed corners of the pastry to form a neat edge.  Whisk cream, eggs, basil and ricotta in a jug.  Season with salt and pepper.  Stir in frozen peas.  Spoon mixture evenly into the pastry cases.  Sprinkle tops with parmesan.  Bake for 15 mins or until golden brown and just set.  Stand for 5 mins in pan.  Serve warm with salad.

 

Spinach and ricotta tartsvariation – Spinach and ricotta

Here’s a variation I tried…

I used low-fat cream and ricotta and replaced the peas with some frozen spinach.  They turned out really nice and tasty Рjust a lighter texture.  I froze them and often have one for breakfast.

The side salad is simply rocket with beetroot and some parmesan cheese.