Cheese sauce

Wheat-free option

Cheese sauce is one of the few recipes that I remember learning to make in school, under the supervision of a very mardy nun. A good cheese sauce is something that I struggled to make when we made a move to clean eating. When l came up with a clean version of a traditional recipe, my aim is always to make it as close as possible to the real thing as l can. For some reason, the most simple recipes always seem to be the hardest to get right. This cheese sauce was no exception. After a lot of trial and error, I discovered that buckwheat is the best option.

Buckwheat isn’t wheat

It is strange, but it is true, buckwheat is not a grain. It is actually related to rhubarb, of all things. I’ve been cooking with buckwheat groats and buckwheat flour for a while now. ‘love how diverse it is, and I’m a big fan of the favour buckwheat adds to dishes. While working on this recipe, I discovered that a little bit of buckwheat four goes a very long way. Buckwheat is great to thicken sauces and gravies as it doesn’t clump the way tapioca does. The bonus with buckwheat is you use a lot less than you would with wheat flours.

Put it on anything

If you ask me, there are no rules for cheese sauce; it is excellent over the top of most steamed vegetables and that special topping on a lasagne.

Cheese sauce
Cheese sauce

Cheese sauce recipe

Ingredients 

  • 500ml milk 
  • 4 tbsp. buckwheat flour 
  • 50g butter 
  • 100g cheese, grated 
Cheese sauce ingredients
Cheese sauce ingredients
Take a large saucepan.
Take a large saucepan.
Add the butter to a saucepan.
Add the butter to a saucepan.
Wait for the butter to melt. 
Wait for the butter to melt. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
Slowly whisk in the milk.
Slowly whisk in the milk.
Slowly whisk in the milk.
Slowly whisk in the milk.
Continue whisking until you end up with a sauce consistency. 
Continue whisking until you end up with a sauce consistency. 
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.
Turn off the heat and stir in the cheese.
When the cheese has all melted it is ready to serve.
When the cheese has all melted it is ready to serve.

Cheese sauce

  • Servings: 8
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

There are no rules for cheese sauce; it is excellent over the top of most steamed vegetables and that special topping on a lasagne.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 500ml milk 
  • 4 tbsp. buckwheat flour 
  • 50g butter 
  • 100g cheese, grated 

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan.
  2. Add the butter to a saucepan, wait for the butter to melt. 
  3. Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. 
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk.
  5. Continue whisking until you end up with a sauce consistency. 
  6. Turn off the heat.
  7. Stir in the cheese.
  8. When the cheese has all melted it is ready to serve.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 149 calories; 10.5 g fat; 8.5 g carbohydrates; 6 g protein

Equipment

  • Measuring spoons
  • Scales
  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Grater 

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Beeswax wraps

New Zealand made beeswax wraps

Each food wrap is made in New Zealand from cotton and local beeswax. They are a reusable and eco-friendly alternative to plastic food wrap. These wraps are an excellent leftover preserver keeping food fresher for longer. The beeswax coating allows food to breathe while staying covered; leftovers will last longer and not get sweaty. 

These wraps are reusable and easy to clean. Wrap, rinse and then repeat, each wrap will last up to 12 months.   They are ideal for school lunchboxes, wrapping snacks and covering bowls.

How many would you need?   

It all depends we find that the packets below usually work out best.     

  • Just the two of us – pack of 3 wraps – this includes two wraps that are large enough to cover sandwiches and a wrap large enough to cover a bowl or plate with leftovers. Only $25 NZD 
  • It’s a family affair – pack of 5 wraps – this includes three wraps that are large enough to cover sandwiches and two wraps large enough to cover a bowl or plate with leftovers. Only $40 NZD 
  • It’s a wrap – pack of 8 wraps – this includes four wraps that are large enough to cover sandwiches, two wraps large enough to cover a bowl or plate with leftovers and two small wraps that will take care of snacks or jars. Only $60 NZD 
  • Extra large wraps are $16 each 

Just the two of us – pack of 3 wraps

This includes two wraps that are large enough to cover sandwiches and a wrap large enough to cover a bowl or plate with leftovers.

NZ$25.00

Just the two of us – pack of 3 wraps

This includes two wraps that are large enough to cover sandwiches and a wrap large enough to cover a bowl or plate with leftovers.

NZ$25.00

Just the two of us – pack of 3 wraps

This includes two wraps that are large enough to cover sandwiches and a wrap large enough to cover a bowl or plate with leftovers.

NZ$25.00

Just the two of us – pack of 3 wraps

This includes two wraps that are large enough to cover sandwiches and a wrap large enough to cover a bowl or plate with leftovers.

NZ$25.00

Why switch over to beeswax food wraps?   

Plastic food wrap is made from a variety of plastics including PVC (polyvinyl chloride) yep, that’s right craft glue, and food wrap comes from the same place.   Plastic food wrap is a single use product which like most things ends up either in a landfill or worse in the oceans causing harm to the environment.   

Beeswax food wraps are an environmentally friendly alternative that can be used over and over again and don’t damage the environment when we create them.   

Where ever possible we source organic cotton, we don’t want to support farming that uses harsh pesticides.    Our beeswax is from New Zealand bees.  Beeswax is naturally anti-bacterial and water repellent. Beeswax is a natural by-product of honey production.  Tree resin is also water resistant and has antibacterial properties.  Jojoba oil has anti-fungal properties and helps the wrap last longer.   

All of these ingredients help to keep your food fresh and the environment as clean as your conscience.   

How does it work?   

The beeswax on the wrap, when warmed with your hands, can be shaped around a dish or food, the beeswax becomes tacky which gives you a great seal.    


String shopping bags

String shopping bags

String Bags are ideal for all of your shopping and loose veggies.  The soft handle makes them a practical, ideal for your morning trip to the Farmers’ Market. 

Reusable String Carry Bags are a great alternative for single use plastic bags and perfect for fruit and veggies.

Simply fill these lightweight expanding reusable bags with goodies from the supermarket. Keep them along with your reusable grocery bags when shopping for fresh produce. Perfect to take to the supermarket and the local farmers market and they work well for other uses around the kitchen and home.

These sturdy bags expand and allow you to carry up to 10kg.

Care: Gentle machine wash and line dry.

String shopping bags

String Bags are ideal for all of your shopping and loose veggies. The soft handle makes them a practical, ideal for your morning trip to the Farmers’ Market.

NZ$5.00

String shopping bags – 5 pack

String Bags are ideal for all of your shopping and loose veggies. The soft handle makes them a practical, ideal for your morning trip to the Farmers’ Market. This pack of 5 bags are ideal for your weekly shopping. 🛍

NZ$20.00


Biscotti

First time for everything

I was unfortunate when I went to Italy, I didn’t get to enjoy a coffee with a Biscotti. Having a nut allergy means missing out on many experiences. I was happy to enjoy the coffee without the almond based treat at the time, but I don’t like to miss out things forever.

What is it?

Biscotti are the Italian almond biscuits you often find served with coffee. The biscotti is a twice baked, oblong, crunchy biscuit perfect for dipping into a hot drink. The traditional recipe uses flour, sugar, eggs, pine nuts and almonds, so basically all the things we don’t or can’t eat. I could give up and say it’s too hard to even try to eat biscotti, but I love a challenge.

Think I made it better

Creating a recipe that aims to deliver the same texture and flavours of the original recipe isn’t always easy. When you add the complication of you have never tasted the original recipe things can get interesting. This recipe was challenging but also exciting. I wanted to get the texture right while keeping the protein and fat content reasonably high. I used a mix of protein powder and oat flour to replace the wheat flour and used coconut milk and maple syrup to replace the sugar. I used blueberries to replace the almond that you would usually find scattered through a biscotti. Each biscuit is crunchy, filling and goes well with a nice mid-morning cup of coffee. 

Biscotti recipe

Biscotti ingredients

Ingredient

  • 4 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
Biscotti ready to eat

Biscotti 

  • Servings: 12
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

This biscotti recipe is grain and sugar free and jam packed in with protein.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 4 scoops protein powder
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F
  2. Grease a cake pan and dust it with protein powder
  3. In a bowl, mix all of the dry ingredients
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the coconut milk, maple syrup, and vanilla bean paste.
  5. Mix the wet and dry ingredients together then fold in the blueberries
  6. Pour the batter into the cake pan
  7. Bake for 30 minutes
  8. Remove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completelyRemove from the oven and allow the cake to cool completely
  9. Cut the cake into 12 slices
  10. Line a large baking tray with baking paper or a silicone liner. 
  11. Place the biscotti slices on the baking tray.
  12. Bake the slices for 20 minutes on each side until they are golden brown.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 178 calories; 5 g fat; 23.6 g carbohydrates; 11 g protein

Equipment

  • Cake pan
  • Mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Cooling rack
  • Baking tray 
  • Baking paper or a silicone liner
  • Measuring cups

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Chicken cranberry salad

What a week

It has been a busy week. With the world going insane we had to cancel our holiday plans and opt for a staycation in Auckland. Basically, that meant we hadn’t done any food shopping so our meal options were somewhat limited. I had no intention of going near a supermarket and dealing with the insane humans buying toilet paper. A quick raid of the fridge, I discovered some sour cream that was on its way out, so I wanted to come up with a way to use it up. Some pre-cooked chicken out of the freezer and we were in business.

Chicken cranberry salad

Salad with dressing

Over the last year, there has been a shift in how the family feel about salads. I now have a list of five salads that everyone is on board with eating. The common feature of the salads that everyone likes is a creaming dressing or sauce. With creamy dressings seem to be the ones that are most loved around here so this salad is a winner. The simple combination of mayo, sour cream and lemon juice give the rest of the salad a nice coating without overpowering the other favours.

Chicken cranberry salad recipe

Chicken cranberry salad ingredients
Chicken cranberry salad ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cup  easy mayo
  • 1/4  cup  sour cream
  • 1  tsp.  lemon juice
  • 1  tbsp.  parsley
  • 3  cups chicken, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4  cup  celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4  cup  apple, finely chopped
  • 1/3  cup  dried cranberries
  • 1/3  cup  sunflower seeds, toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl add the easy mayo
Sour cream
Lemon juice
Parsley
Whisk together
Add the chicken, apple and celery.
Mix well
Add the cranberries and sunflower seeds
Mix well
Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce

Chicken cranberry salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

It has been a busy week and still far too warm to be spending hours in the kitchen making meals. I had some sour cream in the fridge that was on its way out so I wanted to come up with a way to use it up.'


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup easy mayo
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp. parsley
  • 3 cups chicken, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup apple, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk the mayo, sour cream, lemon juice and parsley.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve chilled on a bed of lettuce.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 299 calories; 24 g fat; 10 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein.

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Protein cheesecake

Just because I love you

Every now and then my partner in crime comes to me with a recipe he likes the sound of and asks if there is a way to make a clean eating version, this recipe comes from one of those requests. While Jaime was reading Ross Edgley’s book The world’s fittest book and man crushing on this website, he came across a recipe for a chocolate protein cheesecake always up for a challenge I gave the recipe some development time.

Easy Swaps

Sometimes I can look at a recipe and know what ingredients are easy to swap out for alternative-ingredients, other recipes take some trial and error before you have something close to what the recipe would get you. Thankfully, this was one of the easy swap recipes that end up giving me a finished cheesecake that didn’t last very long (3 days).  I switched out the quark for some creme fraiche and sour cream to increase the fat content, to make the base nut-free I used my nut-free breakfast crunch with some extra honey and coconut oil to bind the base together.

Protein cheesecake

Protein cheesecake ingredients
Protein cheesecake ingredients

Ingredients

  • 250g creme fraiche
  • 250g sour cream
  • 250g yoghurt
  • 60g protein powder
  • 3 tsp. cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. gelatine
  • 200ml milk
  • 200g nut-free breakfast crunch
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, melted
Mix the nut-free breakfast crunch with the honey and the melted coconut oil together
Mix the nut-free breakfast crunch with the honey and the melted coconut oil together
Spread the crunch mixture out in the bottom of a spring form cake tin
Spread the crunch mixture out in the bottom of a spring form cake tin
Spread the crunch mixture out
Spread the crunch mixture out
press it gently into the tin
Press it gently into the tin
Take a stand mixer.
Take a stand mixer.
Whisk the egg white.
Whisk the egg white.
In another bowl whisk the creme fraiche, sour cream and yoghurt.
In another bowl whisk the creme fraiche, sour cream and yoghurt.
Whisk in the protein powder.
Whisk in the protein powder.
Mix well.
Mix well.
Bloom the gelatine as the packet instructs
Bloom the gelatine as the packet instructs
Heat the milk and chocolate with the gelatine.
Heat the milk and chocolate with the gelatine.
Fold the egg whites into the cheese mix
Fold the egg whites into the cheese mix
Fold in the chocolate mixture.
Fold in the chocolate mixture.
Pour the cheesecake mix into the cake pan.
Pour the cheesecake mix into the cake pan.
Put the cheesecake in the fridge to set up.
Put the cheesecake in the fridge to set up.
Cheesecake set in the fridge.
Cheesecake set in the fridge.
Slice the cheesecake
Slice the cheesecake
Protein cheesecake ready to eat. Enjoy
Protein cheesecake ready to eat. Enjoy

Protein cheesecake

  • Servings: 12
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Every now and then my partner in crime comes to me with a recipe he likes the sound of and asks if there is a way to make a clean eating version, this recipe comes from one of those requests.


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 250g crème fraiche
  • 250g sour cream
  • 250g yoghurt
  • 60g protein powder
  • 3 tsp. Cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tbsp. Gelatine
  • 200ml milk
  • 200g breakfast crunch
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil, melted

Directions

  1. Mix the nut-free breakfast crunch with the honey and the melted coconut oil together, making sure that the crunch is fully coated.
  2. Spread the crunch mixture out in the bottom of a spring form cake tin, press it gently into the tin.
  3. Put the tin in the fridge to firm up.
  4. Bloom the gelatine as the packet instructs.
  5. In a large bowl mix the crème fraiche, sour cream and yoghurt together with the protein powder.
  6. Gently heat the milk and whisk in the cacao powder and the gelatine.
  7. In another bowl whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks.
  8. Slowly fold the egg whites into the protein and yoghurt, be careful not to overwork the mixture, you want to keep as much are in the mixture as possible.
  9. Whisk the gelatine and milk into the protein and yoghurt mixture.
  10. Pour the mixture into the spring form tin and smooth the top.
  11. Put the cheesecake in the fridge for 4 to 8 hours for it to set.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 177 calories; 12.2 g fat; 7.3 g carbohydrates; 6.8 g protein.

Equipment  

  • Bowl x2  
  • Spatula x2  
  • Whisk  
  • Spring form cake tin  
  • Saucepan  
  • Measuring spoons
  • Scales
  • Measuring jug

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Reuben slaw

I don’t want it hot

I’m a fan of the Reuben Sandwich, I love the flavours and would happily fall off the no grain wagon to snarf a grilled Reuben Sandwich. As I try my best not to fall off the wagon coming up with alternatives seems like the best approach. Sometimes it is too warm for a Reuben roast or a Reuben casserole; sometimes I want all the excellent flavour without spending hours in the kitchen or turning on the oven. Enter the Reuben slaw. This slaw brings together the peppery pastrami, creamy mayo and crisp cabbage with some mellow Swiss cheese. A few minutes of chopping and you have a perfect meaty bowl of slaw.

Reuben slaw

Ingredients

  • 450g pastrami, finely sliced
  • 300g Swiss cheese, finely sliced
  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup easy mayo

Reuben slaw

  • Servings: 8
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 450g pastrami, finely sliced
  • 300g Swiss cheese, finely sliced
  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1/4 cup easy mayo

Directions

  1. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Chill for 2 hours before serving.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 254 calories; 18 g fat; 2 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein

Equipment

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


A pepper

Working with peppers

Working with peppers doesn’t have to be difficult, and you don’t need to spend your time scraping seeds from the inside of the peppers.  Here is the best method I have found for preparing peppers 

Equipment  

A pepper
A pepper
  • A chopping board
  • A sharp knife 
  • A pepper 

What to do 

Firstly, cut off the top of the pepper
Firstly, cut off the top of the pepper

Firstly, cut off the top of the pepper, I recommend you slice about 1-2 cm below the stalk of the pepper. 

Put the top of the pepper to one side.
Put the top of the pepper to one side. 

Put the top of the pepper to one side. 

Using your fingers pull out the clump of seeds out of the centre of the pepper.
Using your fingers pull out the clump of seeds out of the centre of the pepper.

Using your fingers pull out the clump of seeds out of the centre of the pepper. 

Take the top of the pepper and push out the stem using your thumbs, this way you don’t waste any of the pepper. 

Pepper cut in half
Pepper cut in half

Slice as you wish 

Slice as you wish
Slice as you wish 

Strips, cubes, finely diced, rings 


One tray steak fajitas

Simple meals don’t have to be boring  

I have been on a mission to make simple and tasty meals. I aim to create recipes that can be prepared and cooked quickly on a busy weeknight. We all struggle to make healthy and delicious meals while keeping on top of everything else in life. So this recipe is designed to be healthy, delicious and easy to make. You can cook this meal on a single tray in the oven. The preparation takes no more than 20 minutes and is portioned to feed four adults.  

One tray steak fajitas ready to eat
One tray steak fajitas ready to eat

Taking a break from tacos  

This recipe was born from a need to take a little break from tacos. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against tacos, I love them, but we have been eating a lot of tacos recently so I thought a little change would do us some good. Still wanting something Mexican and fresh, I thought fajitas would be a good option. The best part of this recipe is eating the rainbow; the mix of peppers always looks fantastic. I’m always happy when I can find a way to get a big portion of veggies with dinner. These steak fajitas are an excellent option for an easy weeknight meal and just as easy to make as tacos.   

One tray steak fajitas video

One tray steak fajitas  

One tray steak fajitas  ingredients
One tray steak fajitas  ingredients

Ingredients   

  • 450g steaks  
  • 2 tsp chilli powder  
  • 1 tsp ground cumin  
  • 1 tsp garlic powder  
  • 1 tsp paprika  
  • 1/2 tsp salt  
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper  
  • 1/4 cup olive oil  
  • 1 tsp minced garlic  
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced   
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced  
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced  
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced  
In a bowl mix together the peppers.
In a bowl mix together the peppers.
In a bowl mix together the peppers.
In a bowl mix together the peppers.
In a bowl mix together the peppers.
In a bowl mix together the peppers.
Add the onions to the bowl.
Add the onions to the bowl.
Add the steak to the bowl.
Add the steak to the bowl.
Mix well
Mix well
Ready to spread out on the baking tray
Ready to spread out on the baking tray
Transfer the ingredients to the baking tray.
Transfer the ingredients to the baking tray.
Spread the ingredients out
Spread the ingredients out
Sprinkle over the seasoning and mix well
Sprinkle over the seasoning and mix well
Bake
Bake
One tray steak fajitas ready to eat
One tray steak fajitas ready to eat

One tray steak fajitas

  • Servings: 6
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

This one tray meal a great option for busy week nights or an action packed weekend.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 450g steaks  
  • 2 tsp chilli powder  
  • 1 tsp ground cumin  
  • 1 tsp garlic powder  
  • 1 tsp paprika  
  • 1/2 tsp salt  
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper  
  • 1/4 cup olive oil  
  • 1 tsp minced garlic  
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced   
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced  
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced  
  • 1 green pepper, thinly sliced  

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 400 degrees F.   
  2. In a bowl, combine the chilli, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper to make a fajita seasoning.   
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the steak, onions and peppers with the olive oil.   
  4. Sprinkle with the minced garlic and mix again.  
  5. Spread the meat and vegetables out on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone liner.
  6. Sprinkle the fajita seasoning over the meat and vegetables.  
  7. Cover the tray with foil.  
  8. Bake for 20 minutes with the foil on the tray, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.  Bake for 20 minutes with the foil on the tray, remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes.  
  9. Remove the tray from the oven and let the meat rest for 5 minutes before slicing.  
  10. Serve.  

Nutrition

Per Serving: 266 calories; 19 g fat; 7 g carbohydrates; 16 g protein

Equipment  

  • Knife  
  • Chopping board  
  • Baking tray  
  • Baking paper or a silicone liner
  • Aluminium foil
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Scales

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.


Quick pickle pink onions

Quick pickle pink onions
Quick pickle pink onions

Small addiction

I think I have a problem. No, I am not talking about my addiction to buying workout clothing. I am talking about my addiction to all of the Mexican food.

It could be the spicy and fresh flavour combinations or the colours or the avocados. It is most likely all of the above. 

I adore topping my salads (enchiladas and tacos) with pink pickled onions. Full disclosure I also love to add jalapenos to the top of all of those things (and other things too). I digress. Pink pickled onions are the best, the colour and crunch are amazing. They add a little sharp dimension to a meal.

As with all things, I search for a way to have the things I want without them being bad for me.

Traditionally pickling requires a combination of vinegar, sugar and water. Whenever possible, I try to keep away from sugar, so I set about making a pickle solution that would be sugar-free without comprising on flavour.

Bro science warning

I’m going to attempt to explain what the pickle solution does. 

What is pickling? Pickling is the process of soaking foods in solutions to prevent spoilage.

There are two basic types of pickling. 

Type one using an acidic solution that kills bacteria; this is often a vinegar solution. Often a vinegar solution will use sugar and spices to add more flavour. Some examples of type one pickling are pickled cucumbers and onions. 

Type two using salt or brine (saltwater) to encourage fermentation which means that good bacteria grow and beat out the harmful bacteria that makes food spoil. Some examples of type two pickling are sauerkraut and kimchi.

Bro science completed

So the challenge was to find a replacement for the sugar usually added to a pickling solution without having a negative impact finding a way to preserve the onions the same way that a traditional pickle solution would but replacing the sugar with something else. 

Test 1 coconut sugar

coconut sugar

First attempt was using three tablespoons of coconut sugar as a replacement. I used apple cider vinegar which has it’s own slight sweetness while still acting as a preservative. 

The result onions that were far too sweet for me, the mixture worked well, and the pickles were good to eat for four weeks, but I didn’t enjoy the flavour. 

Test 2 maple syrup

maple syrup
maple syrup

For this test, I decided to use two tablespoons of maple syrup to see if it would give the right flavour I was looking for. I stuck with the apple cider vinegar as I do like the flavour.

The result while this batch was much better than the coconut sugar version I still didn’t really like. 

Test 3 honey

Honey
Honey

For this test, I decided to use two tablespoons of honey to see if it would give the right flavour I was looking for. 

The result we have a winner! The honey gave the onions the perfect amount of sweetness without changing the flavours from the vinegar.

Quick pickle pink onions

Quick pickle pink onions ingredients
Quick pickle pink onions ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns
Quick pickle pink onions
Quick pickle pink onions
Quick pickle pink onions
Quick pickle pink onions

Quick pickle pink onions

  • Servings: 10
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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I topping my salads (enchiladas and tacos) with pink pickled onions. Pink pickled onions are the best, the colour and crunch are amazing. They add a little sharp dimension to a meal. As with all things, I search for a way to have the things I want without them being bad for me.


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 tbsp. Honey
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 peppercorns

Directions

  1. In a pan combine the vinegar, salt, honey bay leaf and peppercorns over a medium heat.
  2. When the honey and salt has dissolved remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Pour the mix into a sterilised jar.
  4. Add the sliced onions to the jar.
  5. Seal the jar and put in the fridge for at least one hour before using.
  6. The onions will keep in the fridge for four weeks.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 21 calories; 0 g fat; 6 g carbohydrates; 0 g protein.

Equipment 

  • Saucepan 
  • Wooden spoon 
  • Measuring  cup 
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mason jar/ preserve jar 

Nutritional disclaimer

Nutrition information is provided as an estimate based on the ingredients used and available in my area (New Zealand). The nutritional information is here to help you understand the recipe; I use MyFitnessPal to generate my estimates. For more accurate nutritional information, please use a nutritional calculator with the ingredients in your area.