4 minute read

Become a Healthy Chef

Kale, Spinach + Feta Pie

This is a delicious meal from my Purely Delicious Cookbook that I often make for my weekday dinner or as a portable healthy lunch. Eggs are high in protein and contain all the essential amino acids needed for growth and repair. Including quality protein sources into your meals every day supports weight loss + healthy metabolism, maintains a healthy immune system, curbs appetite and helps to sustain lean muscle.

{ Ingredients }

2 leeks, washed finely sliced

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 bunch kale or Cavolo Nero, washed trimmed and finely shredded

200 g baby spinach leaves

Black pepper - a generous pinch

80 g quality feta cheese (see notes)

6 organic eggs

1 lemon

1 bunch parsley, chopped

small handful pine-nuts

Preheat oven to 180ºC / 360ºF. Sauté leeks in a large heavy based pot until softened. Add shredded kale and cook through for 5 minutes until soft and wilted. Add baby spinach leaves... you may need to add this in 2 lots and cook through until just wilted. Season with black pepper and add the zest of 1 lemon and 1 bunch freshly chopped parsley. Spoon the kale + spinach mixture into a 22 cm pie dish. Break eggs into a bowl and whisk lightly until combined. Pour the eggs over the greens and gently incorporate through the mix of green goodness. Crumble over the feta cheese and sprinkle over with a few pine-nuts. Bake for 40 - 45 minutes or until firm to touch and golden. Remove from the oven and rest for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy.

Notes: Use ricotta in place of feta. Will keep in the fridge up to 3 days. Serve with roughly chopped tomatoes tossed with finely diced shallots, olive oil and red wine vinegar.

+ Serves 4 +

Immune-Boosting Congee

When I’m feeling a little run down and need nourishing comfort food, I head to the kitchen and make my congee. A perfect warming dish to keep your immune system healthy this winter. Serve steaming hot in generous bowls and instantly feel the healing benefits of this magnificent yet simple soup.

{ Ingredients }

180 g (6 oz) organic brown rice

2 litres (64 fl oz) water or vegetable stock

1 spring onion, sliced

1/4 teaspoon cold pressed sesame oil pinch shichimi togarashi (see notes)

Accompaniments (allow each person to choose):

fresh ginger, sliced

coriander leaves

tamari soy sauce (wheat free)

ground or fresh turmeric

Place rice into a pot and dry-roast over a low heat until fragrant, but not coloured. Pour over the water or stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and slow-cook the rice, stirring regularly for 1 hour or until rice is soft. The end mix should look creamy. Spoon into generous serving bowls and garnish with shredded ginger, tamari, coriander, sesame oil, shichimi togarashi and turmeric if using.

Notes: Brown rice can be replaced with quinoa. A light sprinkle of fried shallots can be used for extra crunch and texture. Use chicken stock in place of water or vegetable stock – add poached organic chicken, fish or a beaten egg for added protein. Shichimi togarashi is a traditional Japanese seasoning with a hot chilli bite. It contains sea salt, chilli, white poppy seeds, golden sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, orange peel, brown mustard seeds, Sichuan pepper and lemon myrtle.

+ Serves 4 +

Apple + Cinnamon Bread

This is the sort of no fuss - one bowl style of bread that can easily be whipped up in around 10 minutes. Your whole kitchen will smell amazing when it's being baked as the cinnamon apple spice floats through the air. There is no need to add any sugar as the apple provides enough sweetness that can marry with lots of toppings both sweet and savoury - my favourites are macadamia nut butter, tahini or a generous spread of deli style ricotta.

{ Ingredients }

450 g (3 cups / 15 3/4 oz) grated red apple

(I used fuji apple - but you can add any other apple you like such as golden delicious)

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

3 organic free-range eggs (see notes for vegan option)

1/4 cup (60 ml / 2 oz) macadamia nut oil (or your choice of coconut oil, olive oil, butter)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract

Use 2 cups (200g/ 10 1/2 oz) almond meal

Preheat your oven to 180°C / 360°F. Combine apple, baking powder, salt, eggs, oil, cinnamon and vanilla into a bowl and mix well. I love using my hands for this to make sure all the ingredients get around the grated apple. Now it's important to remember that the sweetness comes from the raw grated apple which only slightly sweet and purely delicious, so don't be tempted to add any extra sugar. Add the almond meal and mix through lightly. It's important not to over-mix so just until it's combined. Line a loaf tin with baking paper at the base and the sides. The size I used was: 10 1/2 cm wide and 26 cm long. Spoon mixture into your loaf tin. Now at this stage you can choose to bake as is or garnish your bread with sliced apple and a little cinnamon or coconut sugar that will create a lovely caramelised flavour over the top of the apple. Bake for 1 hour or until skewer inserted comes out clean. Times may vary so check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if necessary. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour before removing from the tin. Enjoy.

Notes: Macadamia nut oil adds a lovely buttery flavour which I love - but you can also use your choice of olive oil, avocado oil, butter or coconut oil. Will keep for a good week in your fridge.

+ Serves 4 +

Recipes Teresa Cutter, The Healthy Chef, www.thehealthychef.com