Category: Cooking

Delicious Brussel Sprout Recipe

brussle-sprouts

As a kid I did not like Brussel Sprouts. My mother would boil them (to death)and serve them to us with potatoes and meatballs,  it really wasn’t a culinary experience, to say the least.

Knowing that this vegetable protects us from cancer and protects our DNA, I have persisted in preparing them. As an adult I have discovered many different ways of preparing these healthy sprouts and boiling is the worst way of doing it. It is bland and boring and simply doesn’t enhance the taste of this vegetable.

This is what I do and my kids like them too.

  •  2-3 tbsp butter
  • 500gr Brussel Sprouts, halved
  • 1/2 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Tbsp seeded mustard
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a heavy bottomed fry pan slowly melt the butter. (It needs to cover the whole pan and the onions and garlic need to swim in it.)
  2. Saute onion and garlic
  3. Add the mustard and stir
  4. Add the brussel sprouts
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. On low let this simmer until the brussel sprouts are soft. Probably 10-15 min.

You can add in some ham, mushrooms and cream as well. So good!

 

Moroccan Spice

I have a lovely husband, who loves making meatballs in tomato sauce. It is a very simple recipe, but the spices make it taste so amazing. Moroccan Spice is a delicious mix of different spices which you can use in several recipes, such as meatballs, soup or a Moroccan Lamb stew.

I premix them and always have a jar on hand in my pantry, so my husband never has an excuse not to cook his delicious meatballs!

In a glass jar shake together these spices:

  • 4tsp Ginger
  • 4tsp Coriander
  • 4tsp Cumin
  • 4tsp Paprika
  • 2tsp Pepper
  • 2tsp Cinnamon
  • 2tsp Turmeric
  • 1tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1tsp Nutmeg

 

Staple #9……..Pizza sauce or tomato puree.

There is nothing better than a freshly baked home made pizza. It definitely is a favourite in our house. We make the crust grain free now with the help of The Healthy Home Economist, but before that we made it the old fashioned way, with flour, water and yeast.

Again, making your own crust is certainly cheaper and a whole lot healthier than the store bought variety, which is full of questionable ingredients. In my opinion those ingredients should stay in a science lab and not in the foods on our supermarket shelves!

When making sauce, I usually make enough for the pizzas we will have that night and enough to freeze for future pizzas. I figured, if I am cooking any way,I may as well make more. It is handy to have some on hand when unexpected visitors drop in.

At Costco you can buy these massive tins of tomatoes, which are extra handy when making this sauce. Or if you have an over supply of tomatoes from the back yard, then this recipe is a fabulous way to preserve those delicious tomatoes.

This recipe for pizza sauce is real easy:

Pizza sauce

  • 1 can of tomatoes from Costco (big one) or 4 normal sized ones
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • Italian herbs, such as Oregano, Basil, Parsley and Rosemary
  • Red wine (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • you may also add a tablespoon of vegetable concentrate to give a richer flavour. Omit salt if you do.

Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and blend till smooth with your stick blender. Bring to a boil, then simmer uncovered until the sauce is reduced. It must be thick enough to spread onto your pizza base.

Cover your pizza with the sauce and add you favourite toppings.

Sooooo good!

 

Pantry item #7……..Pantry staples from scratch

realstock

 

I have previously posted an article about making vegetable stock concentrate at home. Vegetable stock concentrate is an item I use in a lot of my dishes to give it an extra boost of flavour. Especially in soups and casseroles it is a welcome addition. Previously I bought vegetable stock cubes, which were not too bad, since I always suss out the best and least chemically laden ones available. But as we all know, this comes with a rather large price tag. Instead of buying expensive stock cubes now, I make my own.

There are all sorts of different recipe combinations possible to make these. Therefore it is a brilliant way to use up fresh produce which has nearly died in the fridge. I am sure the celery really appreciates it that you did not throw her out into the trash, but instead put her to good use 😉

If you click here you will be able to read the recipe and start making your own stock. It is very rewarding, I promise.

 

Pantry item#6……..

Here is a fabulous pantry item that is sooooo easy to make and will save you a significant amount of dollars. When I was no longer able to eat wheat and grains, I needed something else to make delicious muffins with. And since dairy was off the list as well, I also had to find another milk substitute. Well, these 2 problems became my solution. I started making almond milk, but after throwing out the pulp a couple of times, I realized that I was making a huge mistake here. I decided to dry it in the oven to see what would happen. Well, long story short, it became almond flour!

I was over the moon, because it meant that I could really enjoy my “bread” and “muffins” again, for virtually free. The pulp was the waste product of the almond milk anyway. Two birds with the one stone.

Here is what you will need to do to make your own almond flour:

  • 2 cups of almonds soaked over night
  • 6 cups of water
  • pinch of salt

Rinse the almonds the next day and put them in your blender together with the 6 cups of water.

Whizz together until well blended.

Pour the almond milk through a strainer or nut bag. You are now left with the almond pulp.

If you have a dehydrator, you can spread the pulp onto a teflex sheet and dehydrate it overnight.

Otherwise, spread the almond pulp on an oven tray and put in your oven set at 150 degree celsius, for about 15-20 min. check to see if it is done. When fully dry, put the pulp into your food blender and ground it.

Store the flour in a glass jar in your pantry or fridge. Now you can make these delicious almond flour pancakes.

Now here is the math for you:

I get Insecticide Free Almonds through our Whole food Co-op for $10.62/kg

2 cups of almonds = 280gr. and makes 1.5 ltr of milk

1 ltr of milk = $1.98
 

Pantry item #5……….. So simple salad dressing.

Okay, here is another one. Really simple to make at home is salad dressing. Cheap too. And all these ingredients are already inside your cupboards. if not, there is something wrong with you 😉

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • a dash of vinegar, kombucha or juice of 1 lemon
  • garlic clove crushed

This is the basic recipe I start with and is delicious without anything added to it. However, you can add stuff, for example

  • mustard
  • orange juice instead of lemon or vinegar
  • herbs such as parsley or chives
  • Mayonnaise to make it creamy
  • Yoghurt for zing and creaminess
  • Pureed cranberries or strawberries

All you do is get a glass jar and pour all ingredients in. Give it a good shake and Bob’s your uncle!

 

 

Pantry item#4…………Pantry staples from scratch

 

pancakes

C’mon! Do we really have to buy pancake mix in one of those unsustainable plastic bottles. Have we really gone down the hill that far, that we are not even able anymore to make a humble pancake!?

When I go shopping it astounds me how many different types of pancake mixes are available these days, not to mentions how many weird ingredients are in there. Here is one ingredient list of a shake and pour pre-fabricated pancake batter:

Ingredients: Enriched Flour (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Sugar, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Baking Soda, Defatted Soy Flour, Salt, Dried Egg Whites, Dextrose, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Buttermilk, Tricalcium Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate Monohydrate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Soy Lecithin, Aluminum Sulfate.

Looking at this list of ingredients, I certainly have a few questions.

  1. Why is there sugar added to the mix?
  2. What’s wrong with butter? Why use partially hydrogenated oil? This is trans fat and kills you, just like cigarettes are KNOWN to give you cancer, trans fats are KNOWN to raise your bad cholesterol (1) High cholesterol causes heart disease. Certainly not something I would like to have as a side to my pancakes!  http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trans-fat/CL00032
  3. Dried egg whites? What is wrong with using the whole egg? In fact it is the yolk that has the most nutrition and vitamins such as, vitamin D as well as all the other fat soluble vitamins A, E & K and also essential fatty acids. Nutritional bomb, my friend!
  4. Sodium aluminium phosphate (SALP) is a chemical used in food processing. It is synthetically produced from aluminium, phosphoric acid and sodium hydroxide. As a food additive it has the number 541.( ref wikipedia) Doesn’t sound very appetizing to me….
  5. Tricalcium phosphate is a calcium salt of phosphoric acid with the chemical formula Ca3(PO4)2. It is also known as tribasic calcium phosphate and bone phosphate of lime, BPL. Calcium phosphate is one of the main combustion products of bone, see bone ash. In general cases, calcium phosphate is also commonly derived from inorganic sources such as mineral rock.[2] (Ref. wikipedia)

And then there are the other laboratory made chemicals at the end of the list, that in my opinion have no place in the human body. Did it grow on a tree, bush or plant? Maybe originally, before it was altered and processed……?

Well, my pancake mix takes less time to make than the ‘shake and pour’  version of the supermarket. My pancake mix doesn’t come with heart disease, diabetes or obesity, I hope you don’t mind ;-).

  • 200 grams flour
  • 500 ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients together and bake in your frying pan.

These pancakes are crepe like, if you prefer them thicker add less milk as well as a teaspoon of bicarb of soda.

If you are very time poor , I would like to suggest you mix together the dry elements of this mix and store them in plastic containers, ready for use. The only thing to add are the eggs and milk when you are ready to bake!

bon apetit!

 

 

 

Pantry staple #3……….Coconut Butter

Artisana_coconut

 

Just lately in the world of health food a “new” product is being marketed, called Coconut Butter.  Back in the days of my raw food adventures, coconut oil and coconut butter were the same thing. But when I kept seeing these ads for coconut butter,  I realized that this was something different than coconut oil. Really it is a product which I believe has been re-namend and re-marketed. I did some digging and found that it also goes by the name “coconut cream concentrate”, which is the hard layer you will find on the top of your can of coconut cream.

However,  if we are to believe that this indeed is a new and trendy ‘must-have’ item and an impossible one to make at home,  you will be confronted with a price tag that is higher that the tree from which the product  came.

Let me tell you the truth about this trendy coconut butter. All it is?  Shredded coconut blended for a minute or 2 in your high speed blender. That is all there is to it. Absolutely nothing fancy, whatsoever.

What does this cost at the shops, you might want to know? I did some online shopping for you and found several different brands of coconut butter going for around $37.90 a kilo! That is more expensive than coconut oil. Shocking, considering it is an easier process to make the butter than it is to extract the oil from the flesh of the coconut. Go figure….

I made some of this delicious butter the other day in my blender. Once it was creamy I transferred it into an ice cube tray and put it in the fridge where it became really hard. After dinner I popped one out and ate it. It was so satisfying and it literally melted in my mouth. I immediately thought of all sorts of ways for which I could use this incredible ingredient. First thing that came to my mind was of course……CHOCOLATE! I will be experimenting with this as soon as I find some time to do it. I promise I will share with you the things I made. There are many other ways this butter is used. You can put it on your toast or drizzle it on your veggies. You can also cook with it and use it in baking instead of using butter. Or you can just eat it by the spoonful, like I do. It is also an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal. Natures anti-biotics!

Here is what it really costs, when made at home.

1 kilo of Organic Coconut Butter = $8.00

Want to know where you can purchase Organic Shredded Coconut for that price? Check out our Whole-foods co-op, in the Hills District NSW.