Easy custard

Not the custard of childhood

Custard was a strong feature in the desserts of my childhood, apple crumble and custard was one of my favourites when i was growing up. There is nothing better on a cold night than a warm dessert with a generous helping of custard. Full disclosure, when I was younger I was a big fan of tinned custard, I wasn’t so fond of the packet powder custard that was always lumpy and watery. While I do miss custard, l don’t miss the massive amount of sugar that you get in store bought custard. 

Thick and creamy custard
Thick and creamy custard

All the flavour with much less sugar

As with most of my clean eating versions of traditional recipes, it isn’t always the easiest process to find alternative ingredients that deliver the same flavours and in this case the right texture. All new recipes take time to get right, this one was no exception. I tired making custard with coconut sugar, maple syrup and with honey. Finding the balance between sweet enough and too sweet was the greatest challenge. After some trial and error

I found the honey gave the best flavour and the right amount of sweetness for me.

Smooth and silky

Smooth custard isn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be. When I’ve made custard with cane sugar in the past, it was reasonably easy to stop the eggs in the custard from scrambling in the custard. When making custard with honey, you have to watch the heat and take it slowly when heating the custard up. It is easy to overcook the eggs and end up with a lumpy mess.

Easy custard recipe

Easy custard ingredients
Easy custard ingredients

Ingredients

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. honey
Take a large saucepan.
Take a large saucepan.
Add the milk and cream to the pan.
Add the milk and cream to the pan.
Add the vanilla.
Add the vanilla.
Add the honey.
Add the honey.
Stir until all of the honey is dissolved.
Stir until all of the honey is dissolved.
In a bowl or jug  beat the eggs until smooth.
In a bowl or jug  beat the eggs until smooth.
When the milk has started to steam it is ready to use.
When the milk has started to steam it is ready to use.
Add three tablespoons of the milk mix to the eggs and whisk.
Add three tablespoons of the milk mix to the eggs and whisk.
Slowly whisk the eggs into the remaining milk.
Slowly whisk the eggs into the remaining milk.
When combined return to the heat to thicken.
When combined return to the heat to thicken.
Watch the custard closely, keep stirring and remove it from the heat before it over cooks.
Watch the custard closely, keep stirring and remove it from the heat before it over cooks.
Pour the custard into a bowl and set it in the fridge to cool completely.
Pour the custard into a bowl and set it in the fridge to cool completely. 

Easy custard

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

This custard is lower in sugar without being lower in taste.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 300ml milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 tbsp. honey

Directions

  1. Take a large saucepan.
  2. Add the milk and cream to the pan.
  3. Stir in the honey and vanilla. 
  4. Stir until all of the honey is dissolved.
  5. In a bowl or jug  beat the eggs until smooth.
  6. When the milk has started to steam it is ready to use.
  7. Make sure the milk is warm not hot, it will cook the eggs if it is too hot.
  8. Add three tablespoons of the milk mix to the eggs and whisk.
  9. Slowly whisk the eggs into the remaining milk .
  10. When combined return to the heat to thicken.
  11. Watch the custard closely, keep stirring and remove it from the heat before it over cooks.
  12. Pour the custard into a bowl and set it in the fridge to cool completely. 
  13. If you want warm custard reheat it gently in a saucepan.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 228 calories; 19 g fat; 9 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein

Equipment   

  • Saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • Measuring jug
  • Bowl

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.


Beef and onions

Ready for those winter warmers

It is feeling a lot more like winter here in the southern hemisphere. I’m feeling it a lot more thanks to some regular trips to Wellington because of my day job. While I’m a way off breaking out the winter coat, I am looking for warmer meals at night to make me feel warm and toasty.

Beef and onions on a bed of cauliflower rice
Beef and onions

Slow cooker meal

This is quickly becoming one of my favourite slow cooker meals because it is so tasty. There is something so satisfying to put dinner in the slow cooker in the morning and come home to a perfectly cooked meal that just needs to be plated up. The bonus is having enough food to cover lunch for a few days; if Jaime doesn’t go back for seconds and thirds.

Sear in the flavour

I spent some time experimenting with this recipe to create a deeper flavour; I finally landed on the seared meat to make this recipe extra special. The extra step of searing the meat adds a beautiful caramelised flavour to the meat and, more importantly, to the gravy. 

Brisket and onions Recipe

Ingredients

Beef and onions ingredients
Beef and onions ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 onion, sliced
  • 1.5kg beef roast
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef bone broth
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • Salt and pepper
slice the onions
slice the onions
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
Add the sliced onions to the pan and let them cook for about 15 minutes
Add the sliced onions to the pan and let them cook for about 15 minutes
Be sure to stir the onion now and then
Be sure to stir the onion now and then.
When the onions are caramelised, spread them out on the bottom of your slow cooker.
When the onions are caramelised, spread them out on the bottom of your slow cooker.
Season the beef well.
Season the beef well.
Sear the beef in the pan the onions were cooked in.
Sear the beef in the pan the onions were cooked in.
Sear the beef on all slides.
Sear the beef on all slides.
When the meat is browned all over, place it on top of the onions in the slow cooker.
When the meat is browned all over, place it on top of the onions in the slow cooker.
Pour the Worcestershire sauce, coconut aminos and broth over the meat.
Pour the Worcestershire sauce, coconut aminos and broth over the meat.
Cook the beef on a low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours.
Cook the beef on a low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours.
Serve on a bed of cauliflower rice.
Serve on a bed of cauliflower rice.

Beef and onions

  • Servings: 10
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

This slow cooker meal is one of my favourites and delivers so much flavour.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 onion, sliced
  • 1.5kg beef brisket
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups beef bone broth
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. coconut aminos
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced onions to the pan and let them cook for about 15 minutes, be sure to stir the onion now and then.
  3. When the onions are caramelised, spread them out on the bottom of your slow cooker.
  4. Return the frying pan to the heat.
  5. Season the beef well.
  6. Sear the beef in the pan the onions were cooked in.
  7. When the meat is browned all over, place it on top of the onions in the slow cooker.
  8. Put half of the onions on top of the brisket.
  9. Pour the Worcestershire sauce, coconut aminos and broth over the meat.
  10. Cook the beef on a low heat setting for 6 to 8 hours.
  11. The meat should pull apart with a fork when it is ready.
  12. Turn off the heat and let the meat rest for 20 minutes before serving.
  13. Use two forks to pull the beef apart.
  14. Using the forks mix the meat and onions together with the juices from cooking.
  15. Serve on a bed of cauliflower rice.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 259 calories; 8 g fat; 6 g carbohydrates; 38 g protein

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Measuring jug
  • Measuring spoons
  • Frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Tongs
  • Whisk

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.


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.


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.


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: ★★★★★
  • Print

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.


Gingernut cookies

Gingernut cookies ready to eat
Gingernut cookies

Weekend tradition

Saturday morning, a not so small child stumbles out of bed into the living room as is offered a cup of tea. His response isn’t ‘yes please’ or ‘no thank you’ his answer is ‘gingernut?’. He likes to sit down with a nice cup of team and a gingernut to dunk in his brew. I thought I would have a go at creating a slightly healthier version of the gingernut and put it to the little dunker for testing.

As these things go, this recipe was pretty easy to develop. I knew the challenge would be getting the amount of crunch right. Too much crunch and we could be looking for replacement teeth, not enough crunch and you have a terrible cookie with no structural integrity for dunking. The key to a good gingernut is how long you bake it for. The trick with this recipe is to remove the cookies from the oven on time and then let them sit on the hot baking tray to become crisper and develop the right amount of crunch. If you leave them in the oven too long, you will be looking for new teeth.

Gingernut cookies

Gingernut cookies ingredients
Gingernut cookies ingredients

Ingredients

  • 200g seed butter
  • 3 tsp. Ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 100g coconut sugar
Into a food processor place, the coconut sugar and ginger.
Into a food processor place, the coconut sugar and ginger.
Blend until thoroughly combined.
Blend until thoroughly combined.
 Add the seed or nut butter
Add the seed or nut butter
mix until thoroughly combined, it will start to clump together.
Mix until thoroughly combined, it will start to clump together.
Add the egg.
Add the egg.
Mix again until the mixture starts to form a ball
Mix again until the mixture starts to form a ball
Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the cookie dough.
Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the cookie dough.
Place each portion onto the lined baking tray.
Place each portion onto the lined baking tray.
Make sure there is space between each portion so that the cookies have space to spread.
Make sure there is space between each portion so that the cookies have space to spread.
Use the back of a spoon to press down the pieces slightly.
Use the back of a spoon to press down the pieces slightly.
Fresh and crunchy cookies
Fresh and crunchy cookies

Gingernut cookies

  • Servings: 10
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

This recipe is my take on the traditional gingernut, it is gluten-free but still has all the flavour and crunch.


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 200g seed butter
  • 3 tsp. Ground ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 100g coconut sugar

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees c 392 degrees f
  2. Have a baking tray ready with baking paper on it
  3. Into a food processor place, the coconut sugar and ginger blend until thoroughly combined
  4. Add the seed or nut butter and mix until thoroughly combined, it will start to clump together.
  5. Add the egg and mix again until the mixture starts to form a ball if it doesn’t form a ball don’t worry when everything is thoroughly combined stop the processor.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop to portion out the cookie dough, place each portion onto the lined baking tray, and make sure there is space between each portion so that the cookies have space to spread.
  7. Use the back of a spoon to press down the pieces slightly.
  8. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until they are golden brown.
  9. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them cool, and crisp up.
  10. When the cookies are hard, move the cookies to a container, they will keep for about a week.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 161 calories; 10 g fat; 15 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein.

Equipment 

  • Food processor 
  • Ice cream scoop 
  • Baking tray
  • Baking paper/ silicone liner
  • Spoon 
  • 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.