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simple meals

light meals seafood simple meals snacks

NZ fresh scallops on roast veg with pea puree

March 2, 2017

Being a great lover of New Zealand seafood, scallops are a firm favourite and a pleasant reminder that summer is nearly here! Here’s a nice, easy scallop taster using roast beetroot and/or kumara (making it even more New Zealand) as a base. I think I preferred the beetroot, when you roast it you get a lovely subtle, sweet flavour that works well with the pea and scallop (or so I thought).

I added a Stoneleigh Chardonnay – not because I wine match because in truth I would have no idea about all that, I just really like this wine!

Yummo 🙂

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RECIPE:
Serves 2 for a taster

6 scallops
1 beetroot
1 kumara
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh peas
1/2 cup of frozen or fresh edamame soybeans (if you don’t have these, double the quantity of peas)
2 large mint leaves
1/2 cup of reserved pea cooking liquid
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
Salt and pepper

Serve with:
Lemon wedges
Pea shoots
Microgreens

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius.

Slice your beetroot and kumara (sweet potato) into thick circles – about 5mm each. Brush both sides with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast on a lined tray for 20-25 minutes until cooked and golden brown.

While the veg is roasting, bring a small pot that is half full of salted water to the boil and blanch the peas and beans for a couple of minutes, strain but reserve 1/2 a cup of the liquid. Blitz the peas, beans, liquid, mint leaves and some salt and pepper with a stick blender until you have a nice puree.

Heat a frypan or hotplate on high with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the butter, I use a hotplate as this gives the scallops a nice caramelised finish but a heavy based pan will also do the job!

When the butter and oil is sizzling add your scallops, season with salt and pepper and fry quickly (only takes minutes) to a nice golden brown on each side.

Layer up your plates with the roast veg segments, dollops of pea/bean puree and a seared scallop. Season well and serve with lemon wedges, pea shoots and microgreens.

light meals salads seafood simple meals

Fresh snapper tortilla with pineapple salsa

December 31, 2016

Initially I was going to call this a taco but then after researching the difference between taco, burrito, tortilla it seems that tortilla (in Mexican cookery a thin, flat maize pancake, eaten hot or cold, typically with a savoury filling) is more correct. I think the ‘wrap’ or ‘tortilla’ is more transportable and easier to eat than the taco shell so they’re great for taking on a picnic or in the boat for a fishing trip! If you make the pineapple salsa and the avocado cream the night before the flavours will develop more and so your tortilla will be extra tasty.

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PINEAPPLE SALSA
1 fresh pineapple, diced
1/2 a fresh chilli, finely chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
3 mint leaves, finely chopped
A small handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Juice of one lime
Salt and pepper
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate. Your salsa will stay fresh for 2 – 3 days.

AVOCADO CORIANDER CREAM
1 avocado
Juice of one lemon
A good handful of fresh coriander

Whiz with a stick blender and refrigerate. Your avo cream will stay green and fresh for 2 – 3 days due to the lemon juice content.

SNAPPER TORTILLA
Makes 6

3 fresh snapper fillets
1 tablespoon of flour
1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon of paprika
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

Shake all together in a plastic bag to coat the fish fillets evenly. Pan fry your fish over a medium-high heat in a little olive oil and a knob of butter until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.

6 wraps or tortillas, I use the smaller ones, about bread and butter plate size
1/4 of a red cabbage, finely sliced
A good handful of snowpea sprouts (I always chop the ends of them so they are not quite so long and more manageable)
Olive oil

ASSEMBLE TORTILLA
Brush a frypan with olive oil and heat over a medium-high heat, add your tortillas one at a time and cook on both sides till golden. Along the centre of each tortilla add some sliced red cabbage and some snow pea sprouts. Chope the snapper fillets into bite sized chunks and add a few of these to each tortilla. Spoon over pineapple salsa and dollop with the avocado cream. Season with salt and pepper, wrap and serve or wrap and pack.

The great thing about this type of food is it’s very mix and match, use what you have on hand eg. instead of pineapple salsa make a cucumber – tomato salsa or add mango to the pineapple. Layer with lettuce and grated carrot rather than cabbage and sprouts.

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gluten free light meals seafood simple meals soup

Lime, chilli, prawn noodle soup

June 9, 2016

If you’re feeling the winter blues lately you may like this little vibrant pick me up. There’s something about lime, chilli and coriander that just works. This soup is easy and so ‘next level’ in flavours, try it – you’ll love it I’m sure!

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RECIPE
Serves 3-4

1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 cm slice of fresh ginger, grated
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups of chicken or vege stock (preferably home made)
2 tablespoons of tamari (Japanese soy)
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
Juice and zest of two limes
20 prawns, fresh or frozen
1 red chilli, sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
125 grams of vermicelli noodles
A small handful of fresh coriander

Soak or cook the vermicelli noodles according to the packet instructions.

Heat the oil in a large pot over a medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute or two. Add the stock, tamari, fish sauce and lime zest & juice. Bring to the boil, turn down and simmer for five minutes. Add the prawns and simmer for another 3 – 4 minutes. Remove the prawns and set aside.

Divide the noodles into serving bowls, ladle the soup over the noodles, then add the prawns, chilli and spring onion. Scatter with coriander leaves.

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light meals pasta seafood simple meals

Mussel spaghetti with basil, chorizo and tomato

May 12, 2015

As winter knocks on our door and the last of the tomatoes and basil fade, I felt it was time for some vibrant, flavoursome seafood! This dish is a firm favourite of mine and green lipped mussels with chorizo works so well…

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RECIPE
Serves 4 – 6
300g spaghetti pasta
2 tablespoons of olive oil
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large Spanish chorizo sausages, sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 cup of chicken stock
Juice one lemon
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
16-20 fresh mussels
2 large tablespoons of crème fraiche or sour cream
A good handful of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
A good handful of fresh basil, chopped
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place the tomatoes on a baking paper lined tray, drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, they should be a deeper red colour and the skin should be starting to blacken. Set aside.

Cook the pasta in a large saucepan according to the instructions on the packet. Drain.

Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frypan and fry the chorizo until golden brown, remove from pan and set aside. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook over a low heat until soft – about 10 minutes.

Add the chicken stock and the lemon juice to the pan and bring to the boil.

Scrub the mussels well and de-beard the mussels. Add the mussels to the pan and place the lid on Leave for about 3 minutes and check to see if the shells have opened, if not they may need another minute. Remove the mussels and set aside discarding any unopened ones. Add the, parsley, basil, chorizo, tomatoes and crème fraiche and stir through. Season with salt and pepper. On a large platter place the cooked spaghetti and mussels in their shells, add the mixture of all the other ingredients, garnish with more parsley and basil. Serve with lemon cheeks.

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chicken simple meals

Thai inspired lemon chicken

March 10, 2015

I have a real thing for Thai flavours – makrut lime (kaffir lime), lemongrass, coconut….. yum! I recently found this tasty recipe on The Kitchn and decided to adapt it a little and use organic chicken thigh fillets rather than a whole chicken although I’m keen to try it with the whole chicken one day.

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RECIPE
Serves 2 – 3

500g organic chicken thigh fillets, boneless and skinless
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of butter
1 can of organic, unsweetened coconut milk (I use the Ceres brand)
1 stalk of lemongrass, finely chopped
1 small makrut lime leaf, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 medium lemon, sliced into 8 wedges
A good handful of coriander – the full stems from the stalk through to the leaves, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
1 cup of baby spinach leaves
Sea salt
Cracked pepper, ground

Season your chicken fillets well with salt and cracked pepper on both sides. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy based frypan til sizzling. Add your thigh fillets and brown on each side. Turn the heat down to medium and add the lemongrass, coriander, makrut, garlic, lemon, and coconut milk. Simmer for ten minutes. Remove from the heat, cover with a lid and set aside for ten minutes. Remove the chicken from the frypan. Re-heat the sauce to a simmer and add the spinach leaves, cook for a few minutes. Serve on basmati rice ( I used basmati brown rice) with the sauce and garnish with fresh coriander.

The lemon wedges are gorgeous in this, squeeze some of them over your meal.

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light meals simple meals Vegetarian

Clean food: Portobello mushroom stack

March 9, 2015

The latest book I have co-produced with dermo-nutrition expert Janine Tait is going really well! So many people are behind the 7 DAYS OF ME detox programme – it’s astounding. One never quite knows how well a book will go and as this one is very specific in nature so it was possibly more of a risk that our previous books. Thank you to everyone that has supported the 7 DAYS OF ME Janesce Vital Cleanse book so far 🙂

If you would like to know more about the book please visit the blog on the Janesce skincare website and if you would like to purchase one you can visit our online store.

I’d like to share with you one of the ‘extras’ recipes from the book, I especially love mushrooms as they are great for making a whole meal as is the case with this one. Make sure you include the Thyme, mushrooms and thyme for me are like tomato and basil – the perfect combination.

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RECIPE

Serves 2

4 large portobello mushrooms, stalks removed
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
6 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
½ cup of coriander, finely chopped
1 avocado, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ red onion, finely chopped
½ cup of mung bean sprouts (optional)
½ cup of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds
Himalayan or sea salt and cracked black pepper
¼ cup of hummus dressing (see below)

In a large lidded frypan heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, add the garlic and saute over a medium heat for 1 minute. Add the mushrooms to the pan top side down. Sprinkle over the thyme sprigs, season with salt and pepper and fry gently for 5 minutes. Turn the mushrooms over and fry the bottom side for five minutes. Turn them again and place the lid on the pan, cook over a low heat for another ten minutes.

While the mushrooms are cooking mix together 1 tablespoon of olive oil, avocado, tomato, red onion, lemon zest and juice, mung beans and coriander.

Remove the cooked mushrooms from the pan, fill the caps with the avocado mixture, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, season with salt and pepper. Add hummus dressing.

Serve the mushrooms with a protein of your choice such as poached chicken, fish, tuna or tofu.

HUMMUS DRESSING

½ cup of hummus
Juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon of Bestow Beauty Oil or Olive Oil
2 tablespoons of water (more if your
dressing is too thick)
Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all the above ingredients with a stick blender. Store in a jar in the fridge for several days.

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chicken light meals simple meals

No more 2 minute noodles!

February 23, 2015

As a mother of three I’m no stranger to trying to feed children reasonably healthy options. I was legendary with my 1st child, nothing from a can or packet passed her lips for at least the first year but by the 2nd and then 3rd child it was more a case of grab whatever you can, get them fed and into bed before you pass out from exhaustion!

Today I ventured into the scarey territory of embracing a healthy alternative to one of my 9 year old’s favourites, the dreaded two minute noodles. I presented him with his steaming, fragrant, home made bowl tonight which he cast a very skeptical eye over and then reluctantly tasted about 1/2 a teaspoonful. I sat there watching and waiting patiently for the quick run outside to spit it out or the fatal grimace that meant there was no way in hell he would go any further. Miraculously it didn’t happen, there was a quick nod of the head and the spoon went back into the bowl for a second lot! OMG he didn’t just like them, he loved them – wonders will never cease. Phew.

I’m not guaranteeing that you will get the same result with your children but fingers crossed you do and you will also find that this meal is a taste sensation for the whole family.

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In the recipe below all the ‘optional’ items are those items that you might think are a bit risky for your childs taste but as an adult you will love them. The overall dish is only mildly hot.

RECIPE
Serves 3 – 4

1 tablespoon of olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
500 grams of chicken breast or thigh fillet, finely sliced
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 a red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 a can of coconut milk – get the unsweetened organic one
2 cups of chicken stock
Juice of two limes
1 mukrat or kaffir lime leaf, finely chopped (optional, if you don’t have access to any just add zest of one of the limes instead)
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
1/2 a fresh pineapple cut into chunks or one of the small tins in natural juice (optional)
2 cakes of dried egg noodles, broken into pieces (get the authentic asian ones if you can rather than the ones in the 2 minute packs)
2 tablespoons of fresh coriander, chopped (optional)
3 spring onions, sliced
2 tablespoons of toasted coconut thread (optional for garnish)

In a deep frypan, heat the olive oil over a medium heat, add the garlic and saute for a minute. Turn the pan up to high, add the sliced chicken and brown quickly on both sides (about 2-3 minutes). Add the turmeric, cayenned, chilli, coconut milk, chicken stock, fish sauce, lime juice and kaffir lime leaf. Turn the pan down to medium and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the pineapple and noodles, stir and simmer for another five minutes or until the noodles are soft. Add some boiling water if you feel you would like more liquid. Remove from the heat, stir in half the spring onion. Serve in bowls, garnish with the rest of the spring onion, the coriander and the coconut thread.

You could also add some extra veges towards the end of the cooking time such as spinach leaves, green beans, sliced zucchini, tomato wedges.

Enjoy!

seafood simple meals

Fresh mussels recipe with beans n bacon

November 23, 2014

I love New Zealand seafood, there’s just no other way to say it. I grew up on the water, mostly around Northland and watched my father countless times boil the tin for fresh crayfish or prepare the smoke house for today’s catch. Earlier this year I created some dishes for Aquaculture NZ and of the ten this is the one I dream about the most. It’s so vibrant and tasty that it’s a tragedy when it’s all gone! It’s also a very economic family meal, give it a try you won’t regret it.

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RECIPE
20 fresh mussels
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, final chopped
2 bay leaves
1 cup of chicken stock
Juice of one lemon
2 390g cans of cannellini beans
6 tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons of olive oil
10 rasher of streaky bacon, chopped
2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 cup of parsley chopped
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper

Serves 4-6.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Place the tomatoes in a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 mins or until the tomatoes are a lovely rich red and starting to darken on the edges.

While the tomatoes are cooking scrub and de-beard the mussels. Then heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large frypan and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Tip any excess bacon fat out of the pan, leaving about one tablespoon in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook gently until the onion is soft – about 10 minutes.
Add the chicken stock, lemon juice and bay leaves. Bring to the boil.

Add the mussels and place the lid on the pan. Leave for about 3 minutes and check to see if the shells have opened, if not they may need another minute. Remove the mussels and set aside discarding any unopened ones.

Add the cannelloni beans to the pan and the bacon and tomatoes, heat through for a few minutes over a medium temperature. Remove half the mussels from their shells and stir into the sauce. Remove from the heat.

Ladle the sauce into bowls, add some mussels in their shells, scatter over the spring onion, parsley, parmesans and salt and pepper.

Serve with lemon cheeks and fried or grilled ciabatta.

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HealthyMe light meals seafood simple meals

Healthyme – Zesty layered fish bake

October 9, 2014

At the moment I’m working on a new book with Janine Tait (dermo nutrition guru) which is for the Janesce skincare Vital Cleanse menu. The Vital Cleanse has been part of the Janesce program for many years and so Janine and I decided to present it in a lovely book with new recipes and a meal planner. I especially loved this fish bake beacause it’s seafood and the crust is really good as an alternative to breadcrumbs! The Vital Cleanse book will be launched early next year.

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Serves 2 to 3

Crust
¼ cup of pumpkin seeds
¼ cup of sunflower seeds
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
Zest of a lemon
Himalayan or sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste
¼ cup of parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Fish
500 grams of fresh fish
3 medium sized tomatoes, sliced
1 clove of garlic, chopped
¼ cup of parsley, chopped
Juice of one lemon
Himalayan salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Pulse the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in your food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs. Place in a medium sized bowl and add the sesame seeds, lemon zest, salt, pepper, olive oil and parsley.

Place your fish fillets in an oiled, shallow baking dish. Layer the sliced tomatoes on top of the fish and sprinkle with parsley and garlic. Add salt and pepper and the lemon juice.

Cover with the crust and place in the oven for 20 minutes until crust is golden brown and fish is cooked. Serve with fresh salad and brown rice.

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HEALTHYME SHOPPING ESSENTIALS

500 grams of fresh fish (I’ve used snapper)
Tomatoes x 3
Italian parsley
Lemons x 1
Olive oil
Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds

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HealthyMe light meals simple meals Vegetarian

HEALTHYME – Roast pumpkin frittata

August 16, 2014

It’s all very well deciding to eat healthy but unless you have some ideas on what to create and the ingredients on hand, it can prove to be a challenge! I thought I would start a ‘HEALTHYME‘ series to share with you what sort of food I create regularly so that I can eat healthy more easily. In the ‘HEALTHYME‘ series I will cover simple breakfast, lunch, dinner, sauces and dressing recipes that I use often to help me keep on track.

I try to use organic ingredients whenever possible or at least source local ingredients because I know where they are grown and how fresh they are :). I always use fresh herbs, can’t imagine a meal without them to be honest and they are the easiest plants to grow. At then end of each ‘HEALTHYME‘ recipe I will list the essential items you need in your fridge and pantry. These meals are created out of ingredients that are always really useful to have on hand. That way once you are used to making more healthy food for yourself you will find it easier to know what to buy when you do your food shopping – it’s about developing some new habits.

Frittata is an awesome meal in one, in this one the sweetness of the buttercup is delicious with cumin and fennel. Feel free to add any of your favourite veg to your frittata. I often eat vegetarian because I believe it’s better for you and I like the creativity and flavours that go into making a vegetarian meal.

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RECIPE

Serves 2-3
1/4 pumpkin, sliced into wedges (I’ve used buttercup)
1 teaspoon of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of cumin powder
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
6 organic eggs
1 large courgette, sliced
5 button mushrooms, sliced
8 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 spring onions, sliced
100 grams of feta, crumbled
A good handful of fresh basil leaves
A good handful of italian parsley, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Line two small baking dishes with baking paper. In one, place the sliced pumpkin, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, sprinkle with the fennel seeds and cumin powder, season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until soft and golden brown. In the other baking dish place the tomatoes and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 30 – 40 minutes until soft and golden brown. Chop the pumpkin into chunks, I leave the skin on but you may prefer to remove it. The tomatoes may be ready sooner so just remove from the oven and set aside.

Whisk the eggs together in a bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frypan and add the sliced courgette and mushrooms, cook for a few minutes on a high heat until golden brown. Add the pumpkin chunks and pour over the whisked eggs. Turn the heat down to low, add the roast tomatoes, spring onion and crumbled feta. Cook gently until the egg starts to firm up on the surface (about 10 minutes). Place under a hot grill to brown for a few minutes. Season with salt and cracked pepper. Serve in wedges for lunch or dinner with the fresh basil and parsley.

Leftover frittata is great served cold the following day.

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HEALTHYME SHOPPING ESSENTIALS

Pumpkin or buttercup
Organic eggs
Courgette
Mushrooms
Tomatoes
Feta
Fennel seeds
Cumin powder
Basil
Italian parsley
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil