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.


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.


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.


Lemon chicken burgers

New freezer favourite

In the last half of 2019, we had a hectic time, the only night on the workweek we had a home with no classes or chores to do. The mass amount of activity and varied nutritional needs meant I needed to get creative to keep everyone happy. I made a few staples to have in the freezer that could be taken out in the morning or thawed in the afternoon to prepare for a quick and healthy meal. These burgers have been one of the firm favourites for weeknight dinners after Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and they are also a firm favourite on the weekends. The kids like to have them as a burger with a bun, I love them with a lettuce bun or chopped up in a burger salad.

Lemon chicken burger in a lettuce bun.
Lemon chicken burgers

A moment of pride

When I was working on the recipe for these burgers, it was a weekend, and I was playing around to try to make the raw mixture smell right. As I was there playing in the kitchen getting ready to fry up the first burger when the youngest member of the clan arrived home from a birthday party. He arrived home clutching a bag from MacDonald’s with the chicken nuggets and chips he got from the party but couldn’t eat. As is the way he stood in the kitchen nattering to us about the movie he saw, what he did, what his friends said and what he said. When Liam took a breath, I managed to ask if he wanted any dinner with us. He said he wasn’t hungry when he was. He would eat the nuggets and chips when he was. Not long after I was building lettuce bun burgers for Jaime and myself when Jaime pops into the kitchen asking if I could make another burger for Liam. Apparently, he liked the smell of the burgers; they smelled a lot better than his chicken nuggets. The bag from MacDonald’s was put to one side while he demolished a homemade chicken burger. I was so proud. 

Sadly the chicken nuggets were eaten for lunch the next day along with the chips, but I still hold on to the fact that when offered, he picked my burger over MacDonald’s.

Lemon chicken burgers

Lemon chicken burger ingredients

Ingredients 

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
Add the chicken mince to a large bowl.
Add the chicken mince to a large bowl.
Add the egg, garlic and cheese to the mince.
Add the egg, garlic and cheese to the mince.
Add the spring onions and lemon to the bowl.
Add the spring onions and lemon to the bowl.
Mix the ingredients together with your hands.
Mix the ingredients together with your hands.
Well mixed burger mix.
Well mixed burger mix.
Use a measuring cup to portion out the burgers.
Use a measuring cup to portion out the burgers.
Shape the meat into burger patties.
Shape the meat into burger patties.
Cook the burgers over a medium heat.
Cook the burgers over a medium heat.
Serve in a lettuce bun.
Serve in a lettuce bun.
With cheese and caramelised onions.
With cheese and caramelised onions.
Lemon burger in a lettuce bun.
Enjoy!

Lemon chicken burgers

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

Not long ago if I had suggested we have a salad for dinner, that suggestion would have been met with grumbles, groans and complaints. Thankfully that is no longer the case. The first time I made this salad for dinner, I did get the grumbles and groans, then the kids tried some.


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 500g chicken mince
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced and zested
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients.
  2. Use your hands to get an even mix.
  3. Divide the mix into six portions and shape into burgers try the burgers over medium heat for 6 minutes on each side.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 189 calories; 11 g fat; 2 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein.

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Zester
  • Fork
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • 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.


Taco style salad

Things are changing

Not long ago if I had suggested we have a salad for dinner, that suggestion would have been met with grumbles, groans and complaints. Thankfully that is no longer the case. The first time I made this salad for dinner, I did get the grumbles and groans, then the kids tried some. The next week when I asked the question ‘what do we want for dinner?’ I got two requests for ‘that salad we had last week’. That has been the greatest endorsement of a recipe if you ask me. It is a sign that things are changing on the food front in our house.

Taco style salad

More spicy flavours

This salad is a little bit Mexican in flavour; I wanted something that was basically a taco in a bowl. We eat a lot of tacos so I wanted something that would be taco in flavour but without the tortilla wraps. This salad delivers on the flavour of tacos, but with a tasty and creamy dressing that brings everything together. It is easy to make, and the recipe is enough to feed a hungry family and still leave you with some leftovers.

Taco style salad

Taco style salad ingredients

Ingredients 

  • 6 cups cos lettuce, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken, cooked and cubed 
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup tortilla chips, crushed 
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. avocado oil 
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced 
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 2 tsp. taco seasoning 
Take the ingredients for the dressing
Add the ingredients to a bowl.
Add the ingredients to a bowl.
Add the jalapenos and whisk.
Take a large bowl.
Add the lettuce and chicken to the bowl.
Add the corn and beans.
Add the tomatoes and avocado.
Add the red onion.
Mix well.
Add the dressing.
Mix well.
Add the crushed corn chips
Serve

Taco style salad

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

Not long ago if I had suggested we have a salad for dinner, that suggestion would have been met with grumbles, groans and complaints. Thankfully that is no longer the case. The first time I made this salad for dinner, I did get the grumbles and groans, then the kids tried some.


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cos lettuce, chopped
  • 6 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup tortilla chips, crushed
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. avocado oil
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. garlic, minced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/2 jalapeño, finely diced
  • 2 tsp. taco seasoning

Directions

  1. In a large bowl mix together the lettuce, corn, beans, tomatoes, avocado, onion and cheese.
  2. Set the bowl to one side.
  3. In another bowl whisk together the yoghurt, oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, garlic, lime juice, jalapeno and taco seasoning.
  4. When you are ready to serve the salad, add the dressing to the bowl with the salad.
  5. Toss the salad to coat everything with the dressing.
  6. To serve top with the crushed chips and coriander.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 287 calories; 12 g fat; 18 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein.

Equipment

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Whisk
  • Spoon
  • 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.


Chorizo chilli eggs

Chorizo chilli eggs

Breakfast for dinner

Eggs have to be one of the best ingredients you can find in your kitchen. I don’t think they should be breakfast only food; they are an anytime food. I know it may seem strange, but I like having breakfast for dinner, I don’t care if it makes me odd, I like it.

A little bit spicy

While I like the versatility of eggs, they generally don’t have a lot going for them in the flavour department, that means you can get creative with the additions to your eggs. For this recipe, I went with some spicy to go with my eggs. The first subtle spicy comes from a lovely bit of chorizo sausage; the spring onions add a little bit of crunch to the dish and the chilli flakes add the final kick to the eggs. It is a simple dish that takes minutes to make but actually looks a bit fancy.

Chorizo chilli eggs

Chorizo chilli eggs ingredients

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 100g chorizo, cubed
  • 1 tsp. chilli flakes
Heat some oil or butter over a medium heat
Add the chorizo to the pan
Add the eggs to the pan
Add the spring onions
Serve hot

Chorizo chilli eggs

  • Servings: 2
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Eggs have to be one of the best ingredients you can find in your kitchen. This recipe is too good to only have for breakfast.


Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 2 spring onion, finely sliced
  • 100g chorizo, cubed
  • 1 tsp. chilli flakes

Directions

  1. In a frying pan over medium heat add some oil and the cubed chorizo.
  2. Fry the chorizo until it begins to colour then add the beaten eggs to the pan.
  3. Reduce the heat and gently cook the eggs.
  4. Add the spring onions and chilli flakes to the eggs while they are cooking, you are aiming for a scrambled egg consistency.
  5. Serve hot.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 425 calories; 32 g fat; 4 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein.

Equipment

  • Knife
  • Chopping board
  • Frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Fork
  • Mixing bowl
  • 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.


Primal fudge

Something naughty but nice 

Fudge, yes, it is an excellent replacement word when you are around the kids, but I have another fudge alternative for you to enjoy. 

Fudge is one of those fantastic sweet treats I remember from childhood, my Dandy often had fudge and toffee for Christmas, and I loved to share it with him. 

In the past I probably could have happily munched a packet of fudge easily, nowadays I do not think I could deal with the sugar coma.  

Sweet without the sugar 

This recipe was born from a desire to enjoy the flavour of fudge without the truckload of sugar. When we made a move to remove sugar from our lives as much as possible, I noticed a change in my taste buds. What once was just a sweet treat is now so sickly sweet, I can’t eat it. 

I like to look for alternatives that mean I get all the flavour without any of the adverse effects of ingredients that don’t agree with me. For this recipe I swapped out the sugar for honey, this created a delicate balance of sweet but not too sweet with all the rich flavour you get with original fudge. 

Kid approved 

The final hurdle I usually have any new recipe is if the kids will like it. Sometimes they like a recipe, but the response can be lukewarm, they eat what I have made, but it takes a few days for them to work their way through everything. 

This is not one of those recipes. This fudge didn’t last the weekend; the fudge was nabbed out of the fridge after lunch, as a refuel when they got back from the play park and after dinner. These treats are little boy (and big boy) approved. 

Primal fudge recipe 

Primal fudge ingredients
Primal fudge ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder 
  • 1/2 cup seed butter 
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder 
Place the cacao powder in a large bowl.
Place the cacao powder in a large bowl.
Add the melted coconut oil and honey to the bowl.
Add the melted coconut oil and honey to the bowl.
Mix well with a spatula.
Mix well with a spatula.
Add the seed butter to the bowl.
Add the seed butter to the bowl.
Mix well.
Mix well.
Take a silicone cupcake pan.
Take a silicone cupcake pan.
Pour the mix into the cupcake pan.
Pour the mix into the cupcake pan.
If you want to add something for some crunch put it in the bottom of the cupcake pan.
If you want to add something for some crunch put it in the bottom of the cupcake pan.
Primal fudge ready for eating.
Primal fudge ready for eating.

Primal fudge

  • Servings: 24
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Fudge, yes it is an excellent replacement word when you are around the kids, but I have another fudge alternative for you to enjoy.



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/2 cup cacao powder 
  • 1/2 cup seed butter 
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup 
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean powder 

Directions

  1. Melt coconut oil either in the microwave or in a saucepan. 
  2. Don’t overheat the coconut oil, it should be liquid not bubbling. 
  3. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and blend them together.
  4. Alternatively you can mix by hand.
  5. Add the cacao powder in a large mixing bowl
  6. Add the melted coconut oil and mix with a spatula.
  7. Add the seed butter to the bowl.
  8. Mix well.Mix well.
  9. Pour the mix into paper-lined muffin tin cups /silicone muffin cups.
  10. Fill each cup halfway.
  11. Place the muffin cups in the fridge for 30 minutes or freeze for 10 minutes. 
  12. Pop the fudge out once it is set.
  13. Store in a sealed container in the fridge. 

Nutrition

Per Serving: 89 calories; 7 g fat; 5 g carbohydrates; g protein

Equipment 

  • Saucepan 
  • Food processor 
  • Muffin tin or silicone muffin cups
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Spoon

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, bacon and mushroom pie

Who ate all the pies? 

Jaime. It was Jaime that ate all the pies. 

Not that he looks like someone that eats all the pies (or the chocolate bars but that is a different story). I don’t know where his love of pies comes from, it could be an English thing. I always hated pies, I remember the ones you could get from a bakery. They would sit all day in the heated food cabinet alongside sausage rolls. They never smelled nice, they had lots of crust and usually had more gravy than meat in them. I should let you know as a general rule I don’t trust foods you can’t see the inside of. 

I only started to like pie when I began to make my own, I can see inside my pies and know what they are made of. 

Bacon makes everything better 

Chicken and mushroom pie has been a thing for a long time and seems to be a firm favourite with pie lovers. As many of you know by now I can’t leave traditional recipes alone, The need to tinker and try to make them better. In this case, that means adding bacon. I believe that bacon has a significant role in the betterment of the human race. It will one day bring about world peace and the pig will be a holy animal around the world. 

Chicken, bacon and mushroom pie with a parmesan crust
Chicken, bacon and mushroom pie with a parmesan crust

Comes back from the land of exaggeration 

The pairing of chicken and mushrooms with bacon seemed natural to me. The salty goodness with the rich earthy flavour of the mushrooms with the heart warming taste of chicken seemed like a no-brainer. 

Grain-free inside and out 

As with all thing I try to create making pies as ‘clean’ as possible was essential to me. The creation of a gravy that didn’t use wheat flour was not really a challenge, I made the easy swap to tapioca flour, bingo, grain-free gravy. Finding a way to make a pastry that was grain free but still like traditional pastry was far more of a challenge. I think I landed on a recipe that delivered a crisp on the outside, soft on the inside combination. It didn’t get soggy in the presence of gravy or fall apart on the plate.

Chicken, bacon and mushroom pie recipe

Chicken, bacon and mushroom pie ingredients
Chicken, bacon and mushroom pie ingredients

Ingredients

  • 3 rashers Bacon
  • 1 tsp. garlic oil
  • 125g Mushrooms sliced
  • 250g Chicken cubed
  • 25g tapioca flour 
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. Masala
  • Pastry
Fry off the bacon.
Fry off the bacon.
Add the mushrooms to the bacon
Add the mushrooms to the bacon
Continue cooking
Continue cooking
Making the gravy
Nice chunks of chicken
Nice chunks of chicken

Chicken bacon and mushroom pie

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

Thick and rich gravy with chunks os chicken and tasty bacon, what more could you want from a pie



Credit: Cath @ easycleaneats

Ingredients

  • 3 rashers Bacon
  • 1 tsp. garlic oil
  • 125g Mushrooms sliced
  • 250g Chicken cubed
  • 25g tapioca flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. Masala
  • Pastry

Directions

  1. Over a medium heat fry off the bacon until it starts to colour.
  2. Fry off the bacon.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the pan with the bacon and continue to cook until the mushrooms have softened.
  4. Add the mushrooms to the bacon
  5. Transfer the bacon and mushrooms to a bowl and set to one side.
  6. In a bowl mix together the flour; masala and thyme then coat the chicken in the flour.
  7. Melt butter over a medium heat.
  8. Fry off the chicken in the butter.
  9. When the chicken is browned off add in the chicken stock and simmer until the stock has thickened.
  10. Wait for the gravy to thicken
  11. Mix in the bacon and mushrooms.
  12. Put filling into a bowl and cover with pastry.
  13. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F.
  14. Serve hot with some green vegetables.

Nutrition

Per Serving: 160 calories; 9.4 g fat; 5.8 g carbohydrates; 11.8 g protein

Equipment 

  • Knife 
  • Chopping board 
  • Frying pan 
  • Wooden spoon 
  • Oven-safe bowl 
  • 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.