Fajita Chicken Casserole

Revisiting family favourites

I’ve been revisiting recipes that have been some of my old school recipes and family favourites that were our staples when we got started as clean eaters. I first posted this recipe in 2018; at that time, the kids were fussy, vegetables had to be hidden and disguised, and there was no potential for intense flavours or spice. 

Times (thankfully) have changed, the kids have grown (like man-sized grown), and they now enjoy a wide range of foods. Things like vegetables are enjoyed, spice and chilli are consumed without complaint, and new ingredients are tried without tantrums.

As the kids have grown, my recipes have changes organically to meet their palates and preferences, I’ve updated this recipe because of that, but fear not, all I have done is make it a little bit better.

Can you improve fajitas?

Maybe you can, by turning them in to a casserole. So, full disclosure, I first made this recipe because of a brain fart. One Friday night shop didn’t go to plan, so I had all of the ingredients for fajitas, except for tortillas. What is life without a little challenge? Not wanting to make another trip out to the supermarket, I decided to do something different with my fajita ingredients. Some melted cheese and bite-sized chicken chunks combined with the fajita vegetables make perfect comfort food.

Fajita chicken casserole recipe

Ingredients

  • 10 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 205g cheese, grated 
  • 2 tbsp. fajita seasoning

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F. 

Place the chicken in the casserole dish and cover the dish with foil.

Bake the chicken for 30 minutes or into the chicken, is cooked through.

When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven and set it to one side to cool.

Drain any liquid from the casserole dish.

In a frying pan over medium heat, cook the pepper and onion until they are golden and soft.

When the chicken is cooled enough to touch, chop it into bite-sized chunks.

In a bowl, mix the cream cheese and half of the cheese with the fajita seasoning.

Add the chicken, onion and pepper to the cheese mix, give everything a good stir to coat all of the chicken with the cheese mixture.

Put the mix back into the casserole and sprinkle it with the remaining cheese.

Bake the casserole for 30 minutes until the casserole is hot and the cheese is bubbling.

  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 10 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 pepper, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 250g cream cheese, softened
  • 205g cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp. fajita seasoning

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the chicken in the casserole dish and cover the dish with foil.
  3. Bake, the chicken for 30 minutes or into the chicken, is cooked through.
  4. When the chicken is cooked remove it from the oven and set it to one side to cool.
  5. Drain any liquid from the casserole dish.
  6. In a frying pan over a medium heat cook the pepper and onion until they are golden and soft.
  7. When the chicken is cooled enough to touch chop it into bite-sized chunks.
  8. In a bowl mix the cream cheese and half of the cheese with the fajita seasoning.
  9. Add the chicken, onion and pepper to the cheese mix, give everything a good stir to coat all of the chicken with the cheese mixture.
  10. Put the mix back into the casserole and sprinkle it with the remaining cheese.
  11. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes until the casserole is hot and the cheese is bubbling.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 486 calories; 26 g fat; 3 g carbohydrates; 34g protein

Equipment

  • Scales
  • Measuring spoons
  • Knife
  • Fork 
  • Chopping board
  • Casserole dish
  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spatula 

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 and mushroom sauce

Making up for missed date nights

We haven’t been very good at making time for ourselves or making time to hang out together recently. Work tends to get in the way, but other activities like workouts, yoga and BJJ also take up our time during the week.

I decided to do something a little bit fancy for dinner to make up for missing our date night last week.

Mushroom Sauce

A general rule in our house is if the food has sauce on it you probably have a winner. If the sauce is cream-based, you have a must greater chance that dinner will be a success. This mushroom sauce is thick, chunky and full of flavour. The simple one-pan only recipe is always great. The most complicated part is not overcooking the chicken, not that I would tell Jay that. ‘No baby I spent hours making sure the sauce was perfect for you = 10 girlfriend points for me.

Greens on the side

I paired the chicken with a healthy portion of coodles coated in a large helping of garlic and butter. What more could you ask for?

Freezer meal

Hands up if you are busy. Who is way too tired to get in the kitchen to cook at the end of the day? Definitely not me.

My days are filled with meetings, to-do lists, emails and telling people what to do, by the time I finish work the last thing I want to do is get stuck into cooking a meal and then cleaning up afterwards. I want to work out and spend some time with Jaime. That is why freezer meals are my favourite solutions to the challenge of a busy life. A few hours on the weekend, and you find yourself with a stack of options for dinner that can be thawed and cooked for a healthy, delicious meal for the family.

Chicken breasts with mushroom cream sauce recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 2 cups button mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 2 tbsp. Thyme
  • 2 tbsp. Buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 3/4 cup cream

Chicken breasts with mushroom cream sauce

  • Servings: 4
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Rich gravy with a thick and perfectly cooked chicken breast, what more could you ask for.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 2 cups button mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup onions
  • 2 tbsp. Thyme
  • 2 tbsp. Buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. Olive oil
  • 3/4 cup cream

Directions

  1. Fry the chicken breasts over medium heat until they begin to colour.
  2. Once the chicken has coloured, remove it from the heat set to one side.
  3. Add olive oil to the pan then fry up the onions and garlic.
  4. Once the onions are softened, add the mushrooms to the pan cook for 3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle in the thyme and stir in the buckwheat flour, mix everything well.
  6. Reduce the heat and add the cream into the pan, mix to create a creamy sauce.
  7. Return the chicken to the pan.
  8. Cook for another 10 minutes until the sauce has reduced slightly and the chicken is very hot.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 473 calories; 33 g fat; 23 g carbohydrates; 24 g protein

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Large frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • 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.


Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Enchiladas are awesome!!

I think most people know that I love all Mexican food, enchiladas are one of my favourites. 

As much as I love them, I can’t do the corn tortilla option regularly. I am always looking for alternatives that let me enjoy my favourite meals. For this one, I decided to try thinly sliced sweet potato as the alternative to tortillas.

As alternatives go, this is great and not as filling as the traditional corn tortilla option.

Freezer meal

Hands up if you are busy. Who is way too tired to get in the kitchen to cook at the end of the day? Definitely not me.

My days are filled with meetings, to-do lists, emails and telling people what to do. By the time I finish work, the last thing I want to do is get stuck into cooking a meal and then cleaning up afterwards. I want to work out and spend some time with Jaime. That is why freezer meals are my favourite solutions to the challenge of a busy life. A few hours on the weekend, and you find yourself with a stack of options for dinner that can be thawed and cooked for a healthy, delicious meal for the family.

Sweet potato enchiladas recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 sweet potatoes, sliced thinly
  • 450g minced beef
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 50g green peppers diced
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chilli powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp. Coconut Oil
  • Enchilada sauce

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/ 330 degrees F.

Use a mandolin to slice your sweet potatoes lengthwise thinly.

Using a knife means you don’t get even thickness, so I use a mandolin.

Using a large pan over medium heat, brush the inside with coconut oil.

When the pan is hot, add some of your sweet potatoes slices.

Cook your sliced sweet potatoes until they are soft, don’t let them get crispy. 

Work in batches to ensure they cook properly.

When cooked, remove excess oil with kitchen towel and chill while you prepare your meat.

In a frying pan, add a little oil, then the minced garlic and onion.

When the onion becomes translucent, add in your minced beef along with the peppers and spices.

Allow everything to cook, break up the minced beef and allow all of the flavours to mingle.

Add a spoonful of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a baking dish.

Build the enchiladas by taking three slices of sweet potato and overlap them to create a fan.

I like to place them on some kitchen paper.

Spoon some of the meat mix into the centre of the sweet potato. 

Fold the sweet potato around the meat and place the roll in the bottom of the baking dish.

Place the end of the roll on the bottom so that it doesn’t unravel.

Repeat with the remaining sweet potato and meat.

Place leftover meat around your enchiladas.

Pour your enchilada sauce on top.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Serve hot with some salsa and guacamole.

Sweet potato enchiladas

  • Servings: “6
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats 

Ingredients

– 3 sweet potatoes, sliced thinly – 450g minced beef – 1/2 onion diced – 2 garlic cloves, minced – 50g green peppers diced – 1/2 tsp. ground cumin – 1/4 tsp. chilli powder – Salt and pepper to taste – 3-4 tbsp. Coconut Oil – Enchilada sauce

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/ 330 degrees F.
  2. Use a mandolin to slice your sweet potatoes lengthwise thinly.
  3. Using a knife means you don’t get even thickness, so I use a mandolin.
  4. Using a large pan over medium heat, brush the inside with coconut oil.
  5. When the pan is hot, add some of your sweet potatoes slices.
  6. Cook your sliced sweet potatoes until they are soft, don’t let them get crispy.
  7. Work in batches to ensure they cook properly.
  8. When cooked, remove excess oil with some kitchen towel and chill while you prepare your meat.
  9. In a frying pan, add a little oil, then the minced garlic and onion.
  10. When the onion becomes translucent, add in your minced beef along with the peppers and spices.
  11. Allow everything to cook, break up the minced beef and allow all of the flavours to mingle.
  12. Add a spoonful of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a baking dish.
  13. Build the enchiladas by taking three slices of sweet potato and overlap them to create a fan.
  14. I like to place them on some kitchen paper.
  15. Spoon some of the meat mix into the centre of the sweet potato.
  16. Fold the sweet potato around the meat and place the roll in the bottom of the baking dish.
  17. Place the end of the roll on the bottom so that it doesn’t unravel.
  18. Repeat with the remaining sweet potato and meat.
  19. Place leftover meat around your enchiladas.
  20. Pour your enchilada sauce on top.
  21. Bake for 15 minutes.
  22. Serve hot with some salsa and guacamole.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 321 calories; 22.3g fat; 14.5g carbohydrates; 15.9g protein

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Mandolin
  • Frying pan
  • Tongs
  • Wooden spoon
  • Baking dish 
  • Kitchen paper

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 roast roll

A classic 

The Rueben is a classic sandwich, the combination of corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut with Russian dressing on rye bread. This combination isn’t the only one that goes by the name ‘Rueben’; there are a range of variations, corned beef is switched out for smoked meat, pastrami, fish or courgettes, sauerkraut gets switched out for coleslaw, and Russian dressing gets switched for thousand island dressing or mayo. The possible combinations are endless. 

Bread-free option 

As is often the case, I can’t leave a recipe alone; I must play around with a recipe. I wanted to create a meal that brought together the classic flavours of the Rueben without the carbs of the sandwich. Replacing the bread with another meat is always an excellent way to go in my book. With that in mind, I started looking for a cut of meat that would work with the intense pastrami flavours but not overpower them. The perfect partner for the flavours is pork, more specifically, pork tenderloin. 

The Rueben roast roll was born! 

The tenderloin is cut to be laid out as a thin layer; the Reuben ingredients are then layered on top of the pork before it is rolled up to keep everything together, making the roll moist and succulent.  

Reuben roast roll recipe 

Ingredients 

  • 500g pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 3 tbsp. thousand island dressing 
  • 60g. pastrami 
  • 60g. cheese 
  • 1/4 cup sauerkraut, drained well 
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil 
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1/4 tsp. caraway seeds 

Instructions 

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F. 

The first step is to butterfly the tenderloin. 

Cut a lengthwise slit down the centre of the tenderloin to within 2 cm of the bottom.

Be careful not to cut all the way through.

Open up the cut so that the tenderloin lies flat. 

On each half, make another, lengthwise slit down the centre to within 2 cm of the bottom; cover with cling film. 

Flatten to 1 cm thickness with a mallet or rolling pin. 

Remove the cling film; spread the thousand island along one side of the pork. 

Layer the pastrami on top.

Then the cheese and sauerkraut along the centre of the pork. 

Roll up the loin from the long side. 

Use butcher’s string to secure the pork, keep the filling inside, and rub with olive oil. 

In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, salt and caraway seeds, rub the mix all over the pork. 

Place the pork in a baking pan

Roast the pork for 35 – 45 minutes. 

When the pork is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before removing the string and slicing up. 

Reuben roast roll

  • Rating: ★★★★★
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This



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 500g pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 3 tbsp. thousand island dressing
  • 60g. pastrami
  • 60g. cheese
  • 1/4 cup sauerkraut, drained well
  • 1/2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. caraway seeds

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees C/425 degrees F. 
  2. The first step is to butterfly the tenderloin. 
  3. Cut a lengthwise slit down the centre of the tenderloin to within 2 cm of the bottom.
  4. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  5. Open up the cut so that the tenderloin lies flat. 
  6. On each half, make another, lengthwise slit down the centre to within 2 cm of the bottom; cover with cling film. 
  7. Flatten to 1 cm thickness with a mallet or rolling pin. 
  8. Remove the cling film; spread the thousand island along one side of the pork. 
  9. Layer the pastrami on top.
  10. Then the cheese and sauerkraut along the centre of the pork. 
  11. Roll up the loin from the long side. 
  12. Use butcher’s string to secure the pork, keep the filling inside, and rub with olive oil. 
  13. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, salt and caraway seeds, rub the mix all over the pork. 
  14. Place the pork in a baking pan
  15. Roast the pork for 35 – 45 minutes. 
  16. When the pork is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes before removing the string and slicing up. 

Nutrition

Per Serving: 174 calories; 9 g fat; 3 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein

Equipment 

  • Knife 
  • Chopping board 
  • Cling film 
  • Rolling pin/ meat mallet 
  • Butchers string 
  • Baking pan

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.


Steak wraps

Updating as we go

Earlier in 2021, I made the move to relocate and update my website, I’ve been making changes and improving all of the things as I go. This recipe is one of the many things I’ve tried to make better.

I love any food that is wrapped up in meat and steak wraps have to be the best meat to wrap your food in.

A meaty treat for dinner 

I am turning the traditional wrap inside out with this recipe. Who needs a grain-based wrap when you can use meat as the wrap? 

These steak wraps are delicious and so easy to make. You can make these wraps ahead of time and just cook them minutes before you serve them.  

Tender is best 

When making steak wraps the thing to remember is you need a tender cut of meat, I like to use sirloin, but if you can’t get sirloin, it isn’t the end of the world. If you find yourself with a tougher cut break out the meat hammer to give the meat a good bash to tenderise the meat.  

Steak wraps recipe

Ingredients

  • 8 sirloin or flank steaks thin slices
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 courgette, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 onion, halved and then thinly
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary

Rub each side of the steaks with some olive oil and season.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat with a little oil.

Fry off the vegetables and rosemary until they are tender.

Place the steak pieces on a chopping board.

In the centre of each steak place a few vegetables vertically.

Roll the vegetables up in the steak.

Take a toothpick and use it to secure the end of the steak.

Repeat with the remaining steak and vegetables.

Preheat a grill pan or BBQ on high heat.

Cook each wrap for 2 minutes per side, less if you prefer your steak rear.

Serve hot

  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 8 sirloin or flank steaks thin slices
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 peppers, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 courgette, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 onion, halved and thin sliced
  • 1 tbsp. rosemary

Directions

  1. Rub each side of the steaks with some olive oil and season.
  2. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat with a little oil.
  3. Fry off the vegetables and rosemary until they are tender.
  4. Place the steak pieces on a chopping board.
  5. In the centre of each steak place a few vegetables vertically.
  6. Roll the vegetables up in the steak.
  7. Take a toothpick and use it to secure the end of the steak.
  8. Repeat with the remaining steak and vegetables.
  9. Preheat a grill pan or BBQ on high heat.
  10. Cook each wrap for 2 minutes per side, less if you prefer your steak rear.
  11. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 226 calories; 13g fat; 6g carbohydrates; 21g protein

Equipment 

  • Knife  
  • Chopping board 
  • Frying pan/cast iron pan/bbq 
  • Tongs
  • Toothpick

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.


Cottage Pie

Master the basics

Eating clean gets a lot easier once you have mastered a few essential recipes. This recipe is basic, not like basic unicorn basic, more like beard and flannel basic. Back to the point (which isn’t Unstable unicorns), having basic skills and recipes in your arsenal means you will never be left with only UberEats as your weeknight options. Once you master this recipe, the possibilities are endless. 

A fresh spin on a classic

The traditional cottage pie was a way to use leftover roasted meat from the Sunday dinner and topping the pie with mashed potato to make the leftovers go a little further. Obviously, the person who first came up with the cottage pie didn’t have a hungry family like mine to feed; having leftover meat does not happen in my house often. My version of cottage pie comes with a big helping of beef mince to keep my hungry boys happy.

Lower carbs big flavour

I wanted to make a lower-carb version of the traditional cottage pie by swapping out the mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower. The cauliflower mash is a great way to reduce carbs without trading off on flavour. 

Cottage pie recipe

Ingredients

  • 750g minced beef
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups vegetables to serve

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.

Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan, cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.

Make sure to stir the vegetables often.

Add the mince to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes or until mince is browned, stir regularly to break up the mince.

Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sauces, and season to taste.

Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove the mix from the heat and set to one side.

To make your mash topping, chop the cauliflower into chunks and place in a steamer*

Steam the cauliflower until it is tender, remove from the heat and allow it cool a little.

Use a food processor to blend down the cauliflower with the butter until you get a smooth consistency.

Spoon the meat mixture into a large baking dish and top with the cauliflower mash.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until piping hot and the mash is golden.

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

“A



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 750g minced beef
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 2 cups vegetables to serve

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan, cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
  4. Make sure to stir the vegetables often.
  5. Add the mince to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes or until mince is browned, stir regularly to break up the mince.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sauces, and season to taste.
  7. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Remove the mix from the heat and set to one side.
  9. To make your mash topping, chop the cauliflower into chunks and place in a steamer*
  10. Steam the cauliflower until it is tender, remove from the heat and allow it cool a little.
  11. Use a food processor to blend down the cauliflower with the butter until you get a smooth consistency.
  12. Spoon the meat mixture into a large baking dish and top with the cauliflower mash.
  13. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until piping hot and the mash is golden.
  14. *if you don’t have a steamer, you can use a colander over the top of a pan of boiling water

Nutrition

Per Serving:249 calories; 10.1 g fat; 1.1 g carbohydrates; 20.1 g protein

Equipment

  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Vegetable steamer
  • Tongs
  • Food processor
  • Spatula
  • Baking dish 

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.


Jalapeno popper soup

I can’t have anything nice

It is getting harder to find a meal that I can have without sharing it with everyone. I know I shouldn’t complain that the kids are getting into new kinds of food, and we can have a more extensive range of dishes for our family menu, but I’m not happy about sharing some things. 

Let me explain

Recently I’ve been trying to eat a higher fat diet and manage the amount of carbs I’m eating, I haven’t gone full keto, but I’m trying to do more keto meals. I made a big batch of white chilli to have as meals in the freezer, 12 portions packaged up in the freezer. I also made cauliflower chowder and beef stroganoff. In all, I had 24 portions of food that would fit my way of eating; not a bad effort for 2 hours of work. Before I even had one meal, I lost three portions; Liam snarfed a chowder with bacon crumbles, and Jay snarfed a chilli and claimed another for his lunch. This wasn’t a one-off; my stash of meals is being raided almost daily; my tasty macro balanced meals disappear constantly. Unfortunately, this happens with everything. My solution to this food-stealing problem, add as much spice to my food as possible.

If you can’t stand the heat

My jalapeno plant has been producing like crazy, so I’m going to put them to good use. I figure putting a big batch of jalapenos in my soup means I can have it all to myself. This soup is (for now) the perfect meal that I don’t have to share.  The simple soup with bacon crumbles is easy to make and keeps in the fridge and freezer well.

Jalapeno pepper soup recipe

Ingredients 

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 125 ml heavy cream
  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Havarti cheese, grated
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

Jalapeno pepper soup

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

Keto friendly soup that tastes great and has a great spicy kick



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 4 slices bacon
  • 250g cream cheese
  • 125 ml heavy cream
  • 2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup Havarti cheese, grated
  • 4 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Take a saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Cook the bacon in the saucepan in full slices.
  3. When the bacon is cooked, remove it from the pan and chop it up to use as a garnish later.
  4. Add the cream, cream cheese and broth to the saucepan, simmer gently.
  5. Keep the mixture moving so that it becomes a smooth mixture.
  6. Whisk in the garlic and the grated cheese.
  7. Add the jalapeno to the saucepan.
  8. Simmer until the soup thickens and the cheese is melted.
  9. When the soup is thickened, remove it from the heat.
  10. Serve with bacon bits sprinkled on top.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 305 calories; 29 g fat; 3 g carbohydrates; 8 g protein

Equipment 

  • Saucepan
  • Whisk
  • Spatula
  • Knife 
  • Chopping board 
  • Measuring cups
  • 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.


Apple stuffed pork roast

Revisiting family favourites

I’ve been revisiting recipes that have been some of my old school recipes and family favourites that were our staples when we got started as clean eaters. I first posted this recipe in 2017; at that time, the kids were fussy, vegetables had to be hidden and disguised, and there was no potential for intense flavours or spice. 

Times (thankfully) have changed, the kids have grown (like man-sized grown), and they now enjoy a wide range of foods. Things like vegetables are enjoyed, spice and chilli are consumed without complaint, and new ingredients are tried without tantrums.

As the kids have grown, my recipes have changes organically to meet their palates and preferences, I’ve updated this recipe because of that, but fear not, all I have done is make it a little bit better.

A match made in heaven

Apple and pork are a match made in food heaven. Apple stuffed pork roast is one of my favourite dishes when the weather is cooling down outside. The apple and pork taste amazing together, and the Moroccan spice adds some extra warmth to the mix. If you are looking for something a little fancy during the winter, I can highly recommend this roast. 

Apple stuffed pork roast recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. 
  • 1kg boneless pork loin roast
  • 1 cup pressed apple juice

Instructions

Heat the oven to 220 degrees C/ 450 degrees F.

In a large frying pan, melt the butter.

Sauté the apples and onion over a medium.

Cook until the onions are soft.

Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper.

Turn down the heat and let the apples soften.

Meanwhile, please the pork roast on a stable surface.

Cut any butchers string around the roast and flatten it out as much as possible.

Cut a lengthwise slit down the centre of the tenderloin to within 2 cm of the bottom.

Be careful not to cut all the way through.

Open up the cut so that the tenderloin lies flatter.

On each half, make another lengthwise slit down the centre to within 2 cm of the bottom.

If you aren’t confident with a knife, you can mallet the meat out flatter.

Cover the meat with cling film and flatten it to 1cm thickness with a mallet or rolling pin.

Spread the apple and onion mixture inside the pork.

Roll the loin back up to a single roll.

With some butchers string, put some loops around the roll to keep it all together.

Season the outside of the loin with salt and pepper.

Take a large baking dish, pour in the apple juice, and transfer the loin to the baking dish.

Cover the dish with baking foil.

Roast the loin for 15 minutes at 220 degrees C/ 450 degrees F

Reduce the heat to 160 degrees C/ 325 degrees F and roast for a further 45 minutes.

While the loin is cooking, baste it with the apple juice every 15 minutes or so.

Depending on your oven, it could take between 45 minutes and an hour for the roast to be done.

Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Apple stuffed pork roast

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

“This



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats 

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • –1 tsp. ground cumin –1 tsp. ground cinnamon –1 tsp. ground ginger –1 tsp. paprika –1/2 tsp. ground turmeric –1 tsp. salt –1 tsp. pepper –1kg boneless pork loin roast –1 cup pressed apple juice 


Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 220 degrees C/ 450 degrees F.
  2. In a large frying pan, melt the butter.
  3. Sauté the apples and onion over a medium.
  4. Cook until the onions are soft.
  5. Add the coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, paprika, turmeric, salt and pepper.
  6. Turn down the heat and let the apples soften.
  7. Meanwhile, please the pork roast on a stable surface.
  8. Cut any butchers string around the roast and flatten it out as much as possible.
  9. Cut a lengthwise slit down the centre of the tenderloin to within 2 cm of the bottom.
  10. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  11. Open up the cut so that the tenderloin lies flatter.
  12. On each half, make another lengthwise slit down the centre to within 2 cm of the bottom.
  13. If you aren’t confident with a knife, you can mallet the meat out flatter.
  14. Cover the meat with cling film and flatten it to 1cm thickness with a mallet or rolling pin.
  15. Spread the apple and onion mixture inside the pork.
  16. Roll the loin back up to a single roll.
  17. With some butchers string, put some loops around the roll to keep it all together.
  18. Season the outside of the loin with salt and pepper.
  19. Take a large baking dish, pour in the apple juice, and transfer the loin to the baking dish.
  20. Cover the dish with baking foil.
  21. Roast the loin for 15 minutes at 220 degrees C/ 450 degrees F
  22. Reduce the heat to 160 degrees C/ 325 degrees F and roast for a further 45 minutes.
  23. While the loin is cooking, baste it with the apple juice every 15 minutes or so.
  24. Depending on your oven, it could take between 45 minutes and an hour for the roast to be done.
  25. Let the roast rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 246 calories; 8.1 g fat; 13.7 g carbohydrates; 33.1 g protein

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Cling film
  • Meat mallet or rolling pin
  • Frying pan 
  • Spatula
  • Butchers string
  • Baking dish
  • Tablespoon 

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.


Lamb Koftas

Master the basics

Eating clean gets a lot easier once you have mastered a few essential recipes. This recipe is basic, not like basic unicorn basic, more like beard and flannel basic. Back to the point (which isn’t Unstable unicorns), having basic skills and recipes in your arsenal means you will never be left with only UberEats as your weeknight options. Once you master this recipe, the possibilities are endless. 

Revisiting family favourites

I’ve been revisiting recipes that have been some of my old school recipes and family favourites that were our staples when we got started as clean eaters. I first posted this recipe in 2015; at that time, the kids were fussy, vegetables had to be hidden and disguised, and there was no potential for intense flavours or spice. 

Times (thankfully) have changed, the kids have grown (like man-sized grown), and they now enjoy a wide range of foods. Things like vegetables are enjoyed, spice and chilli are consumed without complaint, and new ingredients are tried without tantrums.

As the kids have grown, my recipes have changed organically to meet their palates and preferences, I’ve updated this recipe because of that, but fear not, all I have done is make it a little bit better.

Great for a bulk cook

Koftas have always been one of the regular bulk cooks and freeze options in my recipe book because they are simple to make and very quick to cook. This recipe is my go whenever I find minced lamb on offer. They are a brilliant option when you have a busy week but want a quick and tasty meal, and I like to serve them with salad and a simple dressing.

Lamb koftas recipe

Ingredients

  • 400g Lamb mince
  • 2 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ground coriander 

Soak eight bamboo skewers in a glass of water for 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. 

When the meat is well mixed, divide the mix into eight balls.

Take one of the soaked skewers and shape a ball of the meat around the skewer. 

You should end up with a sausage on a stick.

Repeat with the remaining meat and skewers.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.

Cook the koftas over a medium heat until the meat is browned all over. 

It should take 6-10 minutes. 

Alternatively, line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone liner.

Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C / 400 degrees F

Place the koftas on the baking tray

Bake for 10 minutes

Serve while the koftas are hot.

“Lamb

  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

“A



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats 

Ingredients

  • 400g Lamb mince
  • 2 tsp. parsley
  • 1 tsp. garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. ground coriander 

Directions

  1. Soak eight bamboo skewers in a glass of water for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients. 
  3. When the meat is well mixed, divide the mix into eight balls.
  4. Take one of the soaked skewers and shape a ball of the meat around the skewer. 
  5. You should end up with a sausage on a stick.
  6. Repeat with the remaining meat and skewers.
  7. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.
  8. Cook the koftas over a medium heat until the meat is browned all over. 
  9. It should take 6-10 minutes. 
  10. Alternatively, line a baking tray with baking paper or a silicone liner.
  11. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 400 degrees F
  12. Place the koftas on the baking tray
  13. Bake for 10 minutes
  14. Serve while the koftas are hot.

Nutrition

Per Serving:303 calories; 11 g fat; 2 g carbohydrates; 17 g protein

Equipment

  • Bamboo skewers
  • Mixing bowl
  • Frying pan

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.


Mustard herb crusted chicken

Chicken again? 

I do like to mix things up a little when it comes to chicken. We eat a reasonable amount of chicken; it can get boring if you don’t add a bit more flavour now and then.  

It is crust but not as you know it. 

Normally crusted chicken will be panko or, but I like to do things a little differently. The crust for this chicken comes entirely from items in my pantry and fridge, a quick raid around the kitchen and I was ready to go. I didn’t have to buy anything special for this recipe, and it took very little work to get a crisp and tasty coating. 

Cheese is the key 

I think a great crust needs to have some crunch; it can be challenging to get a good crunch from a coating that doesn’t use breadcrumbs. The solution is to add cheese. Not all cheese will give you a crunch; most will not give you a crunch at all; you will probably get a fatty coating. To get a crunch in your coating Parmesan cheese is the key. When Parmesan cheese cooks it gives up some fat but as it cools it gives you a nice crisp crunch to your coating.

Mustard herb crusted chicken recipe

Ingredients

  • 450g chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp. basil
  • 1 tbsp. thyme
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • minced parsley for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 400 degrees F.

Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise, and then flatten each cutlet out between some cling film.

In a bowl mix together the herbs, garlic and mustard together.

On a plate mix together the flours and cheese.

Coat each of the chicken with the mustard and herb mix before covering the chicken in the flour and cheese mixture.

Heat some oil over a medium to high heat, fry off each of the chicken breast until they are golden brown on each side.

Place breasts on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone liner.

Bake for 10 minutes at 165 degrees C 325 degrees F.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.

Mustard herb crusted chicken

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

“This



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 450g chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp. basil
  • 1 tbsp. thyme
  • 1 tbsp. oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 6 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • minced parsley for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C/ 400 degrees F.
  2. Slice each chicken breast in half lengthwise, and then flatten each cutlet out between some cling film.
  3. In a bowl mix together the herbs, garlic and mustard together.
  4. On a plate mix together the flours and cheese.
  5. Coat each of the chicken with the mustard and herb mix before covering the chicken in the flour and cheese mixture.
  6. Heat some oil over a medium to high heat, fry off each of the chicken breast until they are golden brown on each side.
  7. Place breasts on a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone liner.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes at 165 degrees C 325 degrees F.
  9. Sprinkle with chopped parsley to serve.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 230 calories; 15g fat; 13g carbohydrates; 21g protein

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Small bowl
  • Plate
  • Frying pan
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper or a silicone liner
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cups
  • 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.