Medium Box Recipes 25/06/2020
Blood Orange Morning Boost
Blood red, beautiful and super nutritious.
- Peel some blood oranges, divide them into segments and remove as much pith as possible.
- Add some yogurt to the blender – followed by your blood orange, some ice, and a tiny dash of salt.
- Blend well, until the blood oranges have turned into juice and there are no chunks of ice left.
- Sip, and start your day with a fresh burst of Vitamin C.
Add some banana to increase the sweetness, and also thicken the consistency.
Pear, Spinach & Chilli Smoothie
Full of goodness, and packing some heat to warm up a crisp winter morning.
- Halve some pears – remove the seeds and roughly chop.
- Add some yogurt to the blender, followed by your chopped pear, some rinsed baby spinach, some deseeded and finely chopped chilli (to taste – a little goes a long way and you can always add more), some ice and a tiny dash of salt. Some fresh lemon juice would also be a great addition.
- Blend well, until the pears and spinach have turned into juice and there are no chunky bits left.
Spinach is rich in Vitamins A, C and K, magnesium, iron and manganese – which may benefit eye health, reduce oxidative stress and reduce blood pressure levels, among many other health function benefits.
Honey Caramelised Banana with Granola & Yogurt
A sumptuous take on breakfast granola.
- Cut some bananas into bite-sized pieces.
- Place a pan over medium heat with a knob of butter, and 1-2 tbsp of either maple syrup/honey/sugar. Add your bananas and cook until caramelised. Remove the bananas from the pan when they are golden and delicious.
- Plate up the caramelised bananas and top with your crunchy Seed & Circus granola – and a dollop of creamy yoghurt, just ‘cause.
Yogurt can be high in protein, calcium, vitamins – and live culture, or probiotics, which can enhance the gut microbiota.
This gorgeous Italian-style omelette can be enjoyed for breakfast, brunch or even dinner (nobody’s judging). Loaded with tasty layers of baby spinach, ricotta, tomato and fresh herbs – say hello to the Frittata Florentine of your dreams.
- Preheat your oven on the grill setting. In a bowl, whisk together some eggs with freshly chopped fresh herbs and some seasoning.
- Place an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat with a drizzle of oil. When hot, fry up some chopped onion and crushed garlic until soft (and smelling like the heavens). Add in some fresh chopped fresh tomato and baby spinach, and mix until wilted. Pour in your freshly whisked egg mixture (enough to cover the ingredients). As the egg sets, push the cooked portions towards the centre, letting any uncooked egg flow underneath. Cook until your eggs are nearly thickened.
- Remove from the heat and crumble over some ricotta. Place under the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes, until your eggs are completely set and the cheese is turning golden.
- Rest for 5 minutes, then slice your Frittata Florentine into wedges, and serve it while it’s hot.
You can really use whatever ingredients you like here – some other winning combos are broccoli and cheese, mushroom and spinach (and the list goes on).
Cheesy Egg & Bresaola Toastie
These crispy and cheesy sandwiches are a unique twist on traditional bacon and eggs, and are sure to become a morning favourite!
- Heat some butter or oil in a nonstick pan over a medium heat.
- Spread one side of each sourdough slice with butter.
- Crack the eggs into the pan and cook for 1 minute. Lightly pierce the yolk of each egg with the corner of a spatula. Cook for another minute. Carefully flip the eggs (it's ok if they fold over). Cook for another minute, or according to how you like your eggs cooked.
- Place the sourdough in the pan, buttered side down – top with egg, bresaola and some cheese. Place the other slice of sourdough on top of each sandwich, with the buttered side facing out. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. Remove from the pan and serve immediately.
Add some freshly chopped herbs when cooking the egg to increase the aromas of your toastie.
Smashed Avo on Toast with Soft Boiled Egg & Chilli
Lemon-y smashed avo on toast with a perfect soft boiled egg – and a chilli herb topping.
- Carefully add the eggs into a pot of boiling water. Boil for 6 minutes. Remove and place into a bowl of ice water. Peel when cool enough to handle.
- In a bowl, smash up the peeled avo with a fork. Add some lemon juice, and some salt and pepper.
- Toast some sliced bread and butter it up.
- Smear the smashed avo on your toast, top with the soft boiled egg and garnish with some chopped chilli and chopped fresh herbs.
Most of the calories in avos are from fat, but it's all of the good fats. Avos are high in omega-3 fatty acids, in the form of alpha linoleic acid. These unsaturated fats have proven to lower cholesterol and can improve heart health.
Banana-Nutella Sourdough Toasty
Fresh sourdough bread filled with nutella and bananas, and toasted in a pan – because that always tastes better.
- Cut some slices of your freshly baked sourdough. Spread some nutella on each side.
- Fill with some sliced banana to sweeten things up even more :-)
- In a hot frying pan, melt a knob of butter and toast the sourdough sarmie on each side until toasted and crispy.
You can use a toastie machine if you have one.
This week we’re really excited about the deliciously creamy Ricotta cheese that’s in your box. This gloriously fluffy cheese comes from Puglia – a local company born out of the desire to bring authentic Italian cheeses to the Cape. All their cheese is made completely by hand, ensuring an entirely different product to what you would usually find in the supermarket.
Everyone loves a fun fact – Ricotta, literally translating to ‘recooked’ in Italian, was traditionally made using leftover whey protein – cheesemakers made whatever cheese they wanted to with the curds, and then repurposed the leftover whey to create ricotta (among other whey cheeses). These days, Ricotta is made directly from cows milk – giving it that extra creamy indulgence.
This wonderfully soft, creamy cheese can be used to spruce up any meal of the day – whether you use it in your salad, pasta dish, or even in your dessert, this versatile cheese can do it all. Our personal favourite is ricotta gnudi with a burnt butter sage sauce, but hey, everyone’s different – so, take a look at these delectable recipe suggestions below, and let the royal ricotta inspo flow.
Charred Broccoli Salad with Rocket, Pear & Ricotta
This salad ticks all the right boxes – healthy, textured, and delicious.
- Cut the broccoli into 2cm thick steaks. Marinate in lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and fresh herbs – for at least an hour.
- Braai or panfry the steaks for 2-3 minutes per side, until you get the beautiful char from the grill.
- Cut the pears into quarters. Place a pan over a medium heat with a knob of butter and a sweetener of choice. Place the pears into the pan and caramelise each quarter, cut-side down, for 1-2 minutes until glossy.
- Dressing ratios: ½ part honey : 1 part vinegar : 2 parts olive oil – and a pinch of mustard if you fancy. Mix until very well combined.
- Rinse some rocket. Make a bed of rocket, layer over the broccoli and the glazed pears, crumbled ricotta – top with a drizzle of some dressing. Sprinkle over some toasted seeds or chopped nuts, if you fancy!
Broccoli is very high in vitamin C – often more so than oranges. Vitamin C is a great supporter of the immune system, and assists your body's responses to foreign pathogens.
Ricotta Gnudi with Crispy Sage Butter
Introducing: ricotta-based gnocchi a.k.a little flavour-packed pockets of your dreams.
- To a bowl, add 1 cup of ricotta, ½ cup flour, ½ cup grated Parmesan, 2 egg yolks (beaten lightly), ¼ tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp white pepper (if you have). Mix until well combined.
- Dust your hands with some flour, and roll the gnudi mixture into bite-sized balls.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Boil your gnudi in batches until they float to the top of the water, 3-4 minutes. Drain, and gently toss through some olive oil to prevent any sticking.
- In a pan over medium heat, melt a large knob of butter. Pick some sage leaves and add them to the pan. Fry in the butter until the sage leaves are crispy and the butter is lightly golden. Gently toss through the gnudi – and pop one in your mouth!
Once cooked, remove the gnudi with a slotted spoon, and be gentle – they are precious and delicate.
Creamy Avocado & Ricotta Pasta Sauce
This pasta sauce is super simple to make, and loaded with all the healthy fats – hello pasta season!
- In a food processor or blender, add: ¼ a cup of nuts (macadamias, cashews, almonds), 1 avocado, a bunch of mint (or your herb of choice), a drizzle of olive oil, some lemon juice to taste, a pinch of paprika, 30g ricotta and seasoning.
- Blend until smooth and creamy – season to taste on completion.
- Serve with any pasta of your choice – pasta la vista, baby.
Sprinkle over some freshly chopped chilli for colour and a bit of winter warmth.
Sweet Roasted Pears with Ricotta Crumble
This cheese board-style dessert consists of honey roasted pears with crumbled herby ricotta cheese – topped off with some chopped nuts.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Cut the pears in half, scoop out the seeds.
- Place them, cut-side up, on a baking tray and sprinkle with cinnamon.
- Bake for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes, drizzle with some honey and place back into the oven until soft and starting to caramelise.
- Finely chop some fresh herbs and stir through the ricotta.
- Allow to cool slightly (yes, you’ve got the willpower to wait) and serve in a bowl with crumbled herby ricotta and some chopped nuts (or a sprinkle of Seed & Circus granola).
If you leave out the cinnamon, you could also serve this with leaves as a salad starter.
Lemon Ricotta Cake
Spongy soft cake filled with zesty flavour and creamy ricotta.
- Combine 2 cups of whole ricotta, 2 eggs, ½ cup buttermilk, ¼ cup sugar, 1 tsps vanilla essence, ½ lemon juiced and zested, ⅛ tsp salt in a blender until smooth and fluffy.
- Pour into a lightly buttered springform pan and bake for 45 minutes at 190°C in a water bath in the oven.
- Cook the cake completely, then spread ½ cup of yogurt over the top of the cake and decorate with some lemon zest or some berries of your choice.
You could also use orange instead of lemon, if you prefer.
The contents of this week’s box have been inspired by the cuisine of Italy – one of the most expressive and inspiring the world has on offer. Italian food is all about local flavours, elegant simplicity, and fresh, seasonal ingredients (just how eating should be).
Think: fresh, handmade fusilli pasta from Ciao Ciao (small-batch pasta makers in Hout Bay), Aioli’s Napoletana sauce made especially for your box, Puglia’s ricotta cheese, Gay’s Parmesan, tomatoes, fresh herbs (sage, oregano, and thyme), blood orange, Frankie Fenner’s beef mince, Farmer Angus’ bresaola and Green Fish yellowtail – food fit for the gods, really.
You can keep it super simple and dive into a classic fusilli Napoletana pasta, or kick it up a notch and learn how to make sweet potato gnocchi. Conquer the classics of mac ‘n’ cheese and minestrone, and/or throw together a very simple bresaola carpaccio salad with peppery rocket and charred mushrooms.
Here are just some of our favourite Italian-inspired recipes, to bring out the Italian Nonna in all of us – buon appetito!
Classic Fusilli Napoletana
If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that Italians know how to do simple. Fresh pasta thrown through a tomato and basil pasta sauce – because why complicate perfection?
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. When boiling, cook your pasta for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Taste to test, and drain on completion. Toss through some olive oil to prevent it from sticking, and to add some authentic Italian flavour.
- Heat some Napoletana sauce in a pan until hot. Add the drained pasta and stir to coat. Season well.
- Serve with some Parmesan cheese – because cheese is always a good idea.
To add an extra nutritious layer to this dish, you could wilt some baby spinach into the sauce while heating it.
Giuilo’s Fusilli & Meatballs
Nothing quite beats pasta and meatballs – especially when made by the one-and-only Giuilo!
- Pick and finely chop a bunch of fresh herbs – rosemary, parsley, oregano, thyme all work well. Add to a bowl with the beef mince.
- Crack 1 egg into the bowl. Then, add a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
- With clean hands, scrunch and mix everything up well. Then, with wet hands, roll into little meatballs.
- Place the meatballs onto a plate, drizzle with oil and jiggle about to coat. Then, cover and place in the fridge until needed – this will help to firm them up.
- Heat some oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add 1 diced onion and cook for 7 minutes, or until softened and lightly golden. Peel and finely chop 2 cloves of garlic, and trim and finely slice some chilli – add to the pan.
- Then, add the jar of Aioli’s Napoletana sauce. Bring to a simmer until needed, stirring occasionally, and seasoning (to taste) as you go.
- Meanwhile, heat some oil in another frying pan over a medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until cooked through, turning regularly to check if they’re cooked. Cut one open – there should be no sign of pink.
- Once cooked, add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer while you cook the pasta.
- Cook the pasta in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes until al dente, then drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.
- Spoon half of the tomato sauce over the pasta and toss together, adding a little splash of reserved cooking water to loosen (if needed).
- Transfer to a large platter or divide between bowls, serving the remaining sauce and meatballs on top. Garnish with some grated Parmesan, and top with some shredded rocket for garnish.
The longer you reduce the Napoletana sauce, the stronger the flavour will become – so be aware of this when seasoning.
An Italian classic that is worth repeating – over and over again.
- Place a nonstick pan over high heat with a drizzle of oil. When hot, pan-fry the mince until golden, breaking it up as it cooks – about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- Return the pan to medium heat with some finely diced onion, carrot, garlic and celery. Pan-fry until soft and golden. Then add some freshly chopped herbs and chopped chilli – stir until fragrant.
- Add the mince back to the pan along with some tomato paste, cooked chopped tomatoes, red wine, and dilated stock. Bring to a simmer until reduced and ready.
- Season with salt, more chilli, and your sweetener of choice – chutney works very well!
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. When boiling, cook your pasta for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Taste to test, and drain on completion. Toss through the bolognese.
- Dish up with a generous sprinkle of Parmesan.
Serve with a simple green salad dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
Midnight Meatball Pasta Bianca
Fresh pasta with garlic, chilli, beef mince, herbs, lemon zest, olive oil – just delicious! This is a white pasta (no tomato sauce).
- Mince 2 cloves of garlic, deseed and finely chop up a chilli. Roughly chop a large handful of fresh herbs, and zest one lemon. Place the beef mince in a bowl, and add these prepped ingredients. Mix until thoroughly combined, and season well. Shape into meatballs.
- In a frying pan over a medium heat, add a generous glug of olive oil. Finely slice some onion and add to the pan. Pan-fry until golden and soft. Season with some salt, and remove from the pan,
- Return the pan to a medium heat with some more oil. Pan-fry the meatballs until golden all over and cooked to your liking, shifting then as they colour.
- Boil a pot of salted water. Cook your fresh pasta until al dente. Drain, toss through some oil, and set aside.
- Add the cooked pasta and onion to the pan with the meatballs, and mix to combine – add a little extra olive oil if it needs it. Season to taste. Garnish with some grated Parmesan.
- Serve in a bowl – or eat straight from the pan, why waste any time plating?
To take it to the next level, you could add some wilted spinach and/or pan-fried mushrooms to your pasta.
Homemade Sweet Potato Gnocchi
Easy-peasy homemade sweet potato gnocchi with nuts, crispy sage and beurre noisette – maximum flavour, minimum carbs.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Peel and roughly chop some sweet potato and place onto a roasting tray with a small drizzle of oil. Roast in the hot oven for 30-35 minutes, until soft.
- Place the cooked sweet potato into a bowl and mash well (really put your elbow into it). For a more luxurious gnocchi, add an egg yolk / drizzle of oil to the sweet potato and mix to combine before adding the flour. Combine with some flour until it forms a rough dough (we recommend ‘00’ flour). Knead on a board roughly until it comes together (be careful not to over knead it, it must be beautifully soft and pliable). Form a long, thin cylinder and cut into 3-4cm little gnocchis. Cute.
- Bring a pot of heavily-salted water to the boil. Once boiling, drop the freshly made gnocchi into the water, when they float they are ready. Remove with a slotted spoon and place into a colander to drain.
- Pick some sage leaves.
- Place a pan over a medium-high heat with a generous knob of butter. When the butter is bubbling, add the sage leaves and cook until golden and crispy (get a whiff of that smell). Drain on some paper towel, leaving the butter sauce in the pan. Throw in your gnocchi, and toss until golden.
- Serve up your gnocchi in a bowl (don’t forget a drizzle of the butter from the pan), grate over some cheese. Sprinkle over some crispy sage. Delicioso!
If you would prefer gluten-free gnocchi, use your favorite gluten-free flour for this recipe.
Fusilli Cacio E Pepe
"Cacio e pepe" means "cheese and pepper" in several central Italian dialects – it also means “delicious’ in every language. The heat melts the parmesan cheese, and the starches in the pasta water help bind the pepper and cheese to the pasta – science, meets food, meets flavour.
- Cook the fusilli in a pot of boiling salted water until al dente (about 3-4 minutes). Drain, toss through some oil, and reserve ⅔ cup of the pasta water (this is important).
- In a pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp butter with a drizzle of olive oil. Add generous amounts of black pepper and toast for 1 minute until fragrant.
- Add ⅓ cup reserved pasta water and bring to simmer. Whisk in another tbsp of butter then, using tongs, toss the drained pasta through the butter mixture.
- Add a heap (the more, the better) of grated Parmesan and toss constantly until the cheese has melted – add a little more pasta water if the sauce is too thick, and add more Parmesan (to taste) if your sauce needs to be thicker.
- Plate up your fusilli Cacio e Pepe, and garnish with some chopped herbs.
Serve with a simple green salad tossed with balsamic vinegar.
Classic Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Some things are just hard to beat.
- Preheat your oven to 220°C.
- Peel and grate about 3 cloves of garlic. Bring some salted water to boil – for the pasta.
- Melt 2 tbsp. butter in an ovenproof saucepan. Then, add 2 heaped tablespoons of flour, stir until well incorporated and cook until smelling biscuity (yum).
- Slowly whisk in about 500ml of milk – a little at a time to ensure you get a nice smooth sauce. Bring the mixture to the boil, then leave it on a low heat to simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Drain and toss through some oil to prevent sticking.
- Meanwhile, roughly chop some tomatoes – season them well. Make some breadcrumbs by blending up some slices of bread.
- Add the drained pasta to the sauce, with the tomato, some chopped fresh herbs, garlic, and grated Parmesan. Season to taste. You want it to be slightly too wet because it will thicken up again in the oven – add a splash of water if needed.
- If you’ve made your sauce in an ovenproof pan, leave everything in there – if not, transfer it to an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over some more Parmesan, the breadcrumbs and any leftover chopped herbs. Bake it for 20-30 minutes in the oven, until golden, bubbling, crispy and delicious.
- Serve with a lovely green salad, and enjoy!
Do increase the nutritional level, add some baby spinach, sliced mushroom or whatever other veg you would like, Simply chop it up and add it to the sauce in the final few minutes before adding the pasta.
Classic Italian veggie soup, brimming with goodness and so much flavour!
- Dice up some onion, celery, garlic and carrot. Sauté in a pot with some oil, until softening at the edges and turning golden.
- Peel and dice some sweet potato, and add it to the pot.
- Add some seasoning of choice – fresh chopped herbs, spices, etc. Cook until fragrant. Then, add some diced tomato and some vegetable stock. Stir to combine and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Simmer until the carrots and sweet potato are tender.
- In the final minute, add some baby spinach. Season with lemon juice, salt, pepper and chilli (to warm you up from the inside out). Serve with a dollop of yogurt for some indulgent creaminess.
Try keep your veggies a similar size when chopping, it will make for a more even cook.
Bresaola Carpaccio Salad with Rocket, Parmesan & Mushroom
The bresaola is lightly seared on the outside, then drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice and parmesan – served on a bed of rocket, surrounded by garlic mushrooms.
- Pan-fry some thickly sliced mushrooms on a high heat, with a drizzle of oil, until golden. In the final 2 minutes, add a small knob of butter, a clove of crushed garlic and some chopped herbs.
- Plate up some sliced bresaola, fanned out and flat on the plate/platter. Top with some fresh rocket.
- Drizzle some lemon juice and olive oil over the rocket, and scatter over some shaved parmesan.
- Surround the carpaccio with the garlic mushrooms.
To take this dish up a flavour-notch – drizzle with a little truffle oil (if you have).
Tuscan Herb Seared Yellowtail with Lemon-Butter Sauce
Yellowtail rubbed with a herb, lemon zest and garlic crust – drizzled with a lemon-butter sauce, and served with some roasted sweet potato.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Cut the sweet potatoes into similar sized chunks, skin on – coat in oil and season well. Roast in the hot oven for approximately 30-40 minutes, until crispy and golden.
- Roughly chop a handful of fresh herbs – thyme, oregano, sage will all work perfectly. Grate up 2 cloves of garlic, and zest up some lemon – mix with your chopped herbs, and season well with salt and pepper.
- Drizzle the yellowtail in olive oil. Then, roll it in the garlic-herb mixture until fully coated (seriously, drench them in that herby goodness).
- Place a grill pan over a medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. When hot, fry until golden on both sides and cooked to your preference.
- Remove the yellowtail from the pan and add a large knob of butter – cook until it foams and starts to turn golden. Add a sprinkle of capers (optional) and the juice of a lemon, and cook for a further 30 seconds.
- Pour the lemon sauce over your perfectly seared yellowtail and serve alongside the roasted sweet potatoes.
- Some steamed greens or a lovely green salad would compliment this dish beautifully.
If you would prefer to cook your fish in the oven: when your sweet potato is done, put the oven on max grill setting – grill the yellowtail, skin-side up, until golden and cooked to your preference.
Crudites Platter with Chilli Herb Yoghurt dip
Creamy yogurt dressing flavoured with chilli, garlic and fresh herbs – surrounded by nourishing veg.
- Mix some yoghurt with grated garlic, chopped chilli and a mixture of chopped rosemary/thyme/oregano, a squeeze of lemon juice and plenty of salt and pepper.
- Prepare some veg – cut some peppers, celery and carrots into batons. Separate some broccoli florets. Ready some purple sugar snaps (aren’t they pretty?).
- Place the flavoured yogurt into a ramekin in the centre of a serving platter, and arrange the prepped veg around it. Dig in!
Great healthy starter for sharing, or lunch time snack.
Toasted sourdough crostini topped with fresh chopped tomato, fresh herbs and ricotta – THAT’S amore.
- Dice up some tomato, and place in a bowl with a drizzle of oil and lots of salt. Toss to coat. Roughly chop some fresh herbs.
- Slice the sourdough and cut each slice in half (crostini size). Rub each with half a clove of garlic, a drizzle of oil, and sprinkle with some chopped herbs. Toast under the grill, until golden and crispy.
- Top the toasted sourdough with marinated tomato, and ricotta – return to the oven to get a bit melty.
These are a great starter, or afternoon snack with a cleansing lager.
Toasted sourdough crostini topped with fresh chopped tomato, onion, rocket – all topped with bresaola.
- Dice up some tomato and onion, and place in a bowl with a drizzle of oil and lots of salt. Toss to coat. Roughly chop some fresh herbs. Shred some rocket.
- Slice the sourdough and cut each slice in half (crostini size). Rub each with half a clove of garlic, a drizzle of oil, and sprinkle with some chopped herbs. Toast under the grill, until golden and crispy.
- Top the toasted sourdough with tomato and onion mix, then with some ricotta – return to the oven to get a bit melty. Top with some bresaola, rocket and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.
You can soak your onion in some boiling water, and drain before use – to take the sharp edge off.
Cheesy-Garlicky Sweet Potato Wedges
It’s time to meet your new favourite treat.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut the sweet potatoes into wedges, leaving the skin on. Spread out on a tray. Place in the hot oven for 20 minutes, just to par-roast.
- Grate some garlic. Roughly chop some fresh herbs. In a bowl, combine some oil with the grated garlic, chopped herbs, salt and pepper.
- Remove the sweet potatoes from the oven after 20 minutes, drizzle over the herb oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle over some Parmesan, and return to the oven for 30 minutes, or until crispy and golden.
You could make a fresh salsa and scatter it over the top for serving – or throw on some fresh green leaves, and there you have it.
Sweet Potato Quiche
Because sweet potatoes make everything better, even very good things: here’s a gluten-free version of this classic dish.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C. Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into thin disks. Toss in some oil and seasoning before layering up those slices in a pie dish. Start at the middle and overlap layers to fill the gaps.
- Bake the crust for 15 minutes until the sweet potato is cooked but not browned. Then, reduce the oven temp to 180°C.
- While the crust is baking, chop up some veggies – onion, some mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli – you know what your favourites are. Whisk some eggs and milk in a bowl and then add the chopped vegetables. Season to taste.
- Pour the egg and veg mixture into the pie dish and bake for 30 minutes until golden.
Add some grated cheese into your egg mixture for an extra creamy quiche.
Smoky Carrot Mash
Roasted carrots with smoky paprika and blended with chickpeas.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Spread your yellow and orange carrots evenly over a baking tray and coat in oil, salt, pepper and smoked paprika (to taste). Add a peeled clove of garlic to the tray, and roast for approximately 30 minutes until soft and smelling like the heavens.
- Once cooked, blitz the carrots and garlic in a food processor with 1 drained can of chickpeas, some fresh herbs, a big squeeze of lemon juice and a glug of olive oil. Blend, and drizzle in more olive oil until smooth. A drizzle of tahini would add a lovely creamy undertone.
- Taste to test and add more salt, pepper and smoked paprika if needed.
Carrots boost Vitamin A and C levels – Vitamin A increases your immune responses, particularly the immune cells, that adapt to fighting viruses and bacteria. Vitamin C also helps build up the immune system – it’s a great antioxidant, and has shown to increase the absorption of Iron from other food sources (like the paprika).
Easy Italian Pear Cake
Transport yourself to Italy with this delicious pear cake, served with vanilla ice cream – delicioso!
- Preheat the oven to 170°C. Lightly grease and flour a cake tin (springform pans are the best, if you have).
- Peel and deseed 2 pears. Cut one pear into medium-sized cubes, cut the other pear into thin slices.
- In a bowl, beat 3 eggs and ¾ of a cup of castor sugar until creamy – for optimum results, use an electric beater. Once it’s reached the perfect creamy consistency, add 1 cup of mascarpone, and continue beating until smooth. Go on, dip a finger in and taste.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together 1½ cups of cake flour, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ cup + 1 ½ tbsp cornstarch, 1½ tsp baking powder, ¼ tsp baking soda.
- With a spoon, fold the dry flour mixture into the wet egg mixture. Stir gently until combined. Then, mix in 2½ tbsp of canola/vegetable oil and mix until combined.
- Fold in the pear cubes and pour into the cake tin. Top with the pear slices and sprinkle with 2 tbsp of brown sugar (cue The Rolling Stones).
- Bake for 45-60 minutes. Test to see if it’s cooked by sticking a toothpick, or a wooden skewer, into the middle of the cake – if it comes out clean, then hey presto, the cake is ready.
- Serve with some vanilla ice cream or cream – both are a superb choice.
Pears are particularly rich in Vitamin C, Potassium and antioxidants. They are also a good source of fibre, which improves gut health
Fried Bananas with Homemade Dulce Leche Sauce
A.K.A. Deconstructed Banoffee Pie: fried bananas, boiled condensed milk in a can (which turns to dulce leche) – served with ice cream or yoghurt, and some crumbled biscuit.
- Remove the label from your condensed milk can.
- Place the can on its side in a large pot. Fill the pot with room-temperature water, making sure the water level is at least 5cm above the can.
- Set the pot over high heat and allow it to come to a simmer. Reduce the heat, and simmer for 2 hours for a lighter caramel – and up to 3 hours for a darker caramel (check the pot every 30 minutes to ensure the water level stays above the can, adding boiling water as necessary to top it up).
- Using a pair of tongs, remove the can from the water and set on a wire rack to cool to room temperature (do not attempt to open the can while still hot – ouch).
- Once cool, open with a can opener.
- Peel the banana and cut in half lengthways. Fry in a pan with a knob of butter until golden and warm.
- Serve your fried bananas in a bowl with a spoonful of dulce de leche, and a dollop of yoghurt or vanilla ice cream. Garnish with some crumbled biscuits.
Unopened cans of dulce de leche can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 months. Or, your dulce de leche can be transferred to an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.
Lemon Posset & Ricciarelli Biscuit
Creamy lemon posset ramekins – made even more impressive with an Italian almond biscuit to scoop it all up with.
- For your lemon posset: In a saucepan, heat up 300ml cream and 100g caster sugar, and gently stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to a simmer and let it bubble for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, and stir in the zest and juice from 1.5 lemons. Hot tip: measure the lemon juice before adding it, you want about 35ml. Pour into about 3 ramekins and leave to cool at room temperature. Once cool, cover with some cling wrap and leave in the fridge to chill and set, for a minimum of 3 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Prepare a small bowl of icing sugar for dusting. In a large bowl, mix 1.5 cups of ground almonds, with 125g caster sugar. Add the zest of half a lemon and 1 egg white. Mix with a spoon. Now it's time to get your hands dirty – using the paws, bring the biscuit dough together to form a paste. Pinch off pieces of paste and shape into 3cm x 4cm rectangles, about 1-2cm thick. Dust in the prepared icing sugar bowl until fully coated. Place onto the lined tray, leaving enough room between each biscuit, as they will spread out a bit when baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies look slightly cracked and the bottom is firm. Gently place onto a cooling rack and leave for 15 minutes to cool and harden up.
- Dip the cookies into the lemon posset – and try not to eat it all in one helping (or do, anything goes here).
Ricciarelli is an Italian Almond Biscuit that’s gluten-free and only contains five ingredients.
Blood Orange Cake
Light blood orange cake served with yoghurt and fresh blood orange slices – to enjoy with your afternoon cuppa.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. Grease a large cake tin with oil (springform pans work well if you have any).
- Peel and blend 1-2 blood oranges in a food processor until you get 1 cup of orange juice. Drain through a sieve.
- In a large bowl, whisk 1 cup of blood orange juice, 1½ cups of cake flour, 1 cup white sugar, ½ cup canola/vegetable oil, 1½ tsp baking soda and ¼ tsp salt together. Pour your batter into a cake tin.
- Bake for approximately 30 minutes. Test to see if it’s cooked by sticking a toothpick, or a wooden skewer, into the middle of the cake – if it comes out clean, then hey presto, the cake is ready.
- Serve with a dollop of yoghurt, and garnish with some fresh orange slices and chopped nuts.
Fresh and easy afternoon tea delight, with a Vitamin C boost for a healthier immune system.