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quick and easy one-pot pesto, olive and tomato pasta


Quick and easy one-pot pesto, olive and tomato pasta

This recipe for one-pot pasta is an absolute winner. It was super quick and easy to prepare and was beyond delicious with the addition of the pesto, olives and tomato.

You may have seen that there are lots of one-pot pasta recipes around but I can never get my head around the concept, it just seems too good to be true. Also, in theory I could not believe that dumping pasta together with other ingredients in one pot could create a good meal.

But it does! And what an absolute keeper. This one-pot pasta dish is one that I will be making many times over because it was absolutely delicious. The combination of ingredients works beautifully and it was honestly just a bowl of pesto yumminess.

Every single member of my family loved this and I have since been asked to make this dish twice again. This dish is so easy to put together even the kids can get involved with  this one. I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as we did!

If you would like any other one pot wonder recipes then check out one pot Italian chicken and brown rice or lemon and herb chicken with barley

 

method

3 ½ cups vegetable stock

450g spaghetti, broken in half (apologies to all the Italians I just offended)

½ cup basil and cashew pesto

1 cup baby tomatoes, halved (halve them before measuring)

2/3 cup sliced Kalamata olives

 

  1. Place the stock into a large pot and bring to the boil
  2. Once boiling add the rest of the ingredients and give everything a good stir
  3. Reduce the heat on the stove to a low simmer and leave the pasta to cook for 10 minutes with the lid on
  4. Make sure to stir every few minutes or the pasta sticks to the pot
  5. Once the 10 minutes is over leave the pot on the stove with the lid on for a further 5 minutes to absorb the rest of the liquid then enjoy!
one-pot pasta

quick and easy one-pot pesto, olive and tomato pasta

How to flip an omelette if you aren’t a chef


How to flip an omelette if you aren’t a chef

 

This tutorial on how to flip an omelette is for all of us that aren’t chefs and aren’t able to do that flip in the air thing. I spent many years not making omelette recipes because of the many flops along the way.

Eggs are a really nutritious meal. They have good quality protein in them and they also have certain vitamins in the yolk of the egg. We have at least one day a week (usually on the weekends) where eggs form part of the meal or are the actual meal. It is nice however to have some variation in the eggs that you make rather than just sticking to the same egg recipe all the time.

This got me thinking and got me back to the fact that my omelette making still isn’t great. So I decided that there has be a way to conquer this omelette recipe once and for all. This tutorial is the result of many frustrating tries but also my triumph because my omelettes don’t fail anymore.

 

So here it goes….What is the trick to flipping an omelette like a mom and not like a chef:

 

2 – 3 eggs

Salt

¼ tsp baking powder

1 tsp butter

2 Tbsp cheese

Filling or your choice (for this one I used sliced olives)

Method

  1. Scramble 2 – 3 eggs together with the salt of salt and baking powder
  2. Put the teaspoon of butter into a non-stick pan and allow it melt (I use a pan that is 7 inches or 18 centimetres in diameter and I make one omelette at a time. I find the big omelettes too difficult to handle)
  3. When the butter is melted pour in the egg mixture
  4. As the eggs are cooking use your egg lifter to gently scrape away the egg mixture from the side of the pan so that when it comes to flipping the omelette you have space to get the lifter under the omelette
  5. I also gently break open sections of the omelette (with my egg lifter) that are cooked to allow the uncooked liquid egg on the top to get to the pan’s hot surface to cook more quickly
  6. Now it’s time to sprinkle the omelette with your cheese and some of filling and continue to allow the omelette to cook through
  7. When the omelette is mostly cooked gently lift the side of the omelette and flip it over halfway to close the omelette
  8. Gently push the lifter under the omelette to make sure that the omelette isn’t stuck to the pan before you slide it off
  9. Slide the omelette off the pan and onto a side plate and then flip the omelette back into the pan and off the side plate making sure that the less cooked side is touching the pan’s surface
  10. When the omelette is done, slide it back out the pan and onto the plate you intend to eat off
  11. And there you have it! A perfectly flipped omelette
omelette recipe

How to flip an omelette if you aren’t a pro

Are you tired of planning dinner every day?


 

meal plan

Are you tired of planning dinner every day?

Tired of planning dinner every single day?

Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to worry about planning dinner again. Wouldn’t it be nice to have dinner recipes and dinner ideas laid out for you? Let’s face it the thought of planing another meal, again…, can often feel overwhelming.

Is dinner even important?

Why all the bother about dinner? Why does dinner even matter? Well dinner matters for a few reasons. Firstly it’s often the only meal that the family get to sit together and enjoy. This means that it’s the time in the day when the family should be chatting and catching up on their days. And what better way to do that than over a good meal.

The second reason that dinner is important is because it is often the only meal where you get a chance to offer your family some good solid nutrition. Breakfast is usually a frantic rush and dash out of the house. Lunch is often eaten away from home and there is no guarantee that your family are making healthy food choices. So dinner is the one meal where you have the chance to make a meal with good quality protein and lots of vitamins and minerals. It’s also a chance to include slow release carbohydrates that will give your family a sustained release of energy.

So i hope that I’ve proved the point that dinner is an important meal and a great opportunity to positively impact on your family.

Still… planning dinner can be a real bore!

This doesn’t mean though that’s its always fun to plan so that’s where I come in… I’ve put together two week dinner planners which include healthy dinner recipes and ideas for dinners for  two full weeks! The planners include dinner ideas, dinner recipes and shopping lists for two full weeks. There is more than one dinner planner to chose from so that the recipes are a good match for you. If you would like me to plan other dinner planners with different recipes please let me know and I’ll get onto it ASAP!

meal prep

Have you had enough of planning meals every day

 

I’ll just add a bit in here that I’m a dietitian and I firmly believe that delicious food and healthy food can be a match made in heaven. I instil this philosophy when I consult with clients and I’ve ensured that the dinner recipes in your planners fit that brief too.

So back to the meal planners… If you are feeling particularly frazzled then the one month recipe planner is the solution for you. The one month planner includes recipe ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a full month. There is also one new dinner recipe for each day of the month and there are many days that include other recipes too for either breakfast or lunch.

I hope that you enjoy these recipe planners and that they provide you with a bit of meal planning reprieve, Leanne

Deli style cucumber pickle recipe


This deli style homemade refrigerator pickle recipe is the most fabulous side dish to have waiting in your fridge. The beauty of this pickle recipe is that it is made the day before and because of this it is one less dish to prepare on the day that you are having guests. Also this cucumber pickle recipe can be served as an accompaniment to many dishes and is therefore great to have on stand by.

This cucumber pickle recipe is a really old-fashioned recipe and I absolutely love it. The dill, garlic, mustard seeds and bay leaves add such lovely flavours to the cucumber. This cucumber pickle recipe is also quite a nostalgic recipe for me because it brings some wonderful old memories flooding back.

This deli style pickle recipe reminds me of going out on a Sunday morning with my parents to go and buy lunch. There was an old fashioned deli around the corner from where we lived that served hot beef on rye and pickles that taste exactly like these ones. The vinegary flavours of the pickles go really well with a heavier or fattier meal and help to cut through a more robust meal.

I hope that you enjoy these pickles as much as I did and that you make memories of your own that will last you for years to come, Leanne x

 

Cucumber pickle recipe

2 large English cucumbers

pickling liquid

10 peppercorns

1 Tbsp salt

2 bay leaves

1 tsp dill

1 tsp garlic

1 – 2 tsp sugar

3 cups water

¾ cup white vinegar

2 tsp mustard seeds

 

method

  1. Slice both the cucumbers into thick rounds and set aside
  2. Combine all the ingredients for the pickling liquid together and mix well
  3. Place the cucumbers in a glass jar large enough to hold the cucumbers and the liquid, making sure that the jar and the lid are clean and sterilised before using them
  4. Pour the liquid over the cucumbers and allow the flavours to infuse overnight in the refrigerator

 

pickle recipe

Deli style cucumber pickle recipe

Thai peanut butter chicken curry


 

This Thai peanut butter chicken curry is one of the best chicken curry dishes that I have ever made. First of all this recipe has the most beautiful balance of flavours and secondly my entire family went mad for this recipe which is always a good thing. Also after this chicken curry was posted online I had the most amazing feedback from people telling me how unbelievable this recipe is.

One of the most common complaints that I hear from people, especially clients, is that they are bored of their own food. I think this can be said for most of us. This week’s Thai peanut butter chicken curry recipe is a truly delicious meal and is likely to become a firm favourite in your home.

This chicken curry recipe can be a stand-alone dish or can be served with many side dishes. This chicken curry goes exceptionally well with jasmine rice, basmati rice, a Thai inspired vegetable side dish but as you can see the possibilities are endless..

This other beauty of this peanut butter chicken curry recipe is that is a very quick and easy dish to put together but above all it is something deliciously different to try. Let me know how it goes! See you next week, Leanne x

Thai peanut butter chicken curry

 

1 x medium onion, finely diced

1 Tbsp oil

1 tsp freshly minced garlic

1 Tbsp freshly minced ginger

1 tsp salt

1 heaped Tbsp tomato puree

400ml lite coconut milk

1 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

½ cup peanut butter (no sugar, no salt PB)

1 x braai pack chicken portions

 

method

  1. Place the oil in an oven proof dish that is also suitable for the stove top
  2. Heat the oil up in the dish and sauté the onions together with the garlic, ginger and salt
  3. Once the onions are translucent and nicely browned, stir through the tomato puree and mix well
  4. Once the onions and tomato puree are well mixed, add the rest of the ingredients and then mix well again
  5. Place the chicken into the dish on top of the sauce mixture making sure to cover the chicken piece on the sauce
  6. Cook the chicken, with the lid off, at 180C for 1 ½ hours or until well browned on both sides
  7. Garnish with fresh coriander and spring onions and enjoy!

 

 

chicken recipe

unbelievably delicious Thai peanut butter chicken curry recipe

Low carb sugar free almond flour pancakes


This week’s low carb sugar free almond flour and banana pancake recipe is a treat to eat. They are super easy to make, delicious and healthy too.

The recipe includes a banana, an egg and almond flour. The combination is really delicious and sure to be a family favourite This pancake recipe was breakfast for my kids on Sunday and it went down extremely well. Just be careful though because it is really tempting to eat the whole lot all at once!

One of my favourite things about this pancake recipe is that it is suitable for many diets. It’s dairy free, sugar free and gluten free and is super healthy.

There are those days though when you just feel like something yummy and this is four-ingredient banana pancake recipe is just the recipe to hit that spot. I hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as we did, Leanne

Low carb sugar free almond flour and banana pancake recipe

1 large ripe banana

1 jumbo egg

2 Tbsp almond flour

¼ tsp baking powder

1 tsp oil

Method

  1. Break the banana into pieces, place in a bowl and mash with a fork until it is quite well mashed
  2. Add the egg and mix well
  3. Then add the almond flour and the baking powder and whisk well to remove any lumps
  4. Leave the mixture to sit for 15 minutes for the batter to thicken
  5. Place the oil in a non-stick pan and rub it all over the base with roller towel (which you can then throw out)
  6. Heat the pan to a moderate heat (don’t make it too hot. These little babies take longer to cook than regular pancakes because they don’t have regular flour in them)
  7. Pour 1 ½ tablespoons of the batter into your pan to make each pancake
  8. When you start to see bubbles or when the underside of the pancake is a darkish brown colour then they are ready to turn
  9. Using a thin, clean egg lifter gently lift the pancake (the top is still quite wobbly) and turn it over to cook the other side (again because there isn’t regular flour in these pancakes they are more ‘fragile’ than regular pancakes. I also found that if my lifter had leftover batter on it then the next pancake tended to stick to the lifter) and then enjoy!

NOTE: this recipe can be double if you need more pancakes

Makes 6 pancakes

 

healthy pancake recipe

Low carb sugar free almond flour and banana pancakes

raspberry, almond and granola breakfast bowl


This raspberry, almond and granola breakfast bowl is a pure delight to eat. This breakfast recipe was seriously quick to prepare and was an extremely filling. This breakfast bowl is also an extremely nourishing way to start the day. To be honest, after creating this recipe I have had this for lunch too…

Feel free to use whatever fruit you have available at the time of the year. I love using the berries though because they have potent anti-oxidant properties and I love the way they pop in your mouth.

The oats and almonds in this breakfast recipe also have great health benefits and add a wonderful crunchy element to this breakfast dish.

I hope that you enjoy this breakfast bowl as much as I did and that it also become a regular feature in your household, Leanne x

 

Raspberry, almond and granola breakfast bowl

 

½ c raspberries (feel free to use whichever berries you have available)

1 ½ c vanilla flavoured yogurt

4 Tbsp blueberries

2 Tbsp slivered almonds

2 Tbsp oats based granola (low sugar)

Edible flowers to garnish

Method

  1. Using a pestle and mortar pulverise the berries, making sure to leave the berries somewhat intact (so that it’s not a complete mush)
  2. Combine the yogurt and berries, mix well and place into a bowl
  3. Going from the side of the bowl gently put down the blueberries, slivered almonds and granola in straight lines on top of the yogurt layer
  4. Garnish with edible flowers and enjoy!
breakfast recipe idea

Berry, almond and yogurt breakfast bowl

honey mustard roast sweet potato


This honey mustard roast sweet potato recipe is absolutely divine. The combination of the sweet honey and mustard together with the sweet potatoes are an absolute delight to eat. The sweet potatoes in this recipe are cooked to absolute perfection and they make for the most delicious side dish for a meal.

I am waxing lyrical over this recipe because sweet potatoes are one of my favourite foods. If you open my fridge at any one time, you are likely to find sweet potatoes in there. Sweet potatoes are a great choice from a health point of view because they are high in beta carotene and fibre but they also add the most delicious element to a meal.

If you prefer, you can substitute the sweet potatoes for yams. The yams will make an equally delicious side dish. This recipe for honey mustard sweet potatoes has been served a few times since I created this recipe and I really hope that you enjoy them as much as we did, Leanne x

 

Honey mustard roasted sweet potatoes

1 kg small sweet potatoes (you can use any variety of sweet potatoes and yams will work well too)

Dressing

1 Tbsp honey

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp salt

2 Tbsp water

 

Method

  1. Combine all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl and mix well
  2. Place the sweet potatoes into an ovenproof baking dish and pour the dressing over the potatoes
  3. Bake in the oven 180C for 1 ½ – 2 hours or until the sweet potatoes are cooked through (if you poke them with a knife, the knife should go through easily)
sweet potato recipe

Honey mustard sweet potato recipe

8 outstanding healthy breakfast recipes


8 outstanding breakfast recipes (that are secretly healthy….)

 

If you had to ask me which my favourite meal of the day is, breakfast would win hands down.  There are so many delicious and quick dishes to eat for breakfast that aren’t boring old cereal.

This compilation of recipes is for breakfasts that are quick, easy and nutritious. If you have a big day, (eg writing an exam, have a big meeting, out the whole day running errands  etc) ahead of you it is a good idea to have a healthy breakfast before that so that you start the day off well.

This group of recipes are each an outstanding start to the day. They are delicious, packed with nutrients and have foods in them that provide sustained energy release for the morning.

I have included recipes that I myself love and I hope that you do too, Leanne x

 

Recipe 1

The easiest baked eggs in toast you will ever make
egg recipe

Healthy and easy baked eggs in toast

6 slices low GI/ wholegrain/ rye bread  (this number will depend on how many people you are feeding)

6 large eggs

Olive oil spray

Salt to taste

 

  1. Cut a whole into each slice of bread using a cookie cutter (depending on whether you are serving this to kids or adults you can play around with the shape of the cookie cutter that you are using)
  2. Cover the baking tray with baking paper and line the slices of bread next to each other on the tray
  3. Spray each slice of bread with olive oil spray (this is also quite flexible…depending on your preference you are welcome to use olive oil, butter etc)
  4. Crack each egg on the tray itself in the whole in the bread where the egg is going to be placed so that you can crack the egg and get it into the whole in the bread in one motion
  5. Sprinkle each egg with a bit of salt to taste
  6. Bake in the oven at 180C for about 10 – 12 minutes (because everyone likes their eggs done differently this time will most probably vary between each household)
  7. Enjoy this delicious and super easy meal !

 

Recipe 2

Super creamy cinnamon and coconut oats

 

oats recipe

Super creamy cinnamon and coconut oats

1 x 410ml can lite coconut milk

¾ cup water

1 tsp liquid stevia (feel free to use the sweetener of your choice)

½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup oats

1 Tbsp slivered almonds per bowl oats

 

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the oats and bring to the boil in a pot on the stove
  2. Once the liquid is simmering add the oats, mix well and simmer for three minutes
  3. Serve the oats in a bowl and top with the slivered almonds
  4. Enjoy!

 

Recipe 3

Fluffy no-fail mushroom and onion omelette

 

egg recipe

no-fail fluffy mushroom and onion omelette

Mushroom filling

2 tsp oil

1 heaped cup, sliced button mushrooms

3 tbsp finely grated onions

Salt to taste

 

1 tsp butter

4 eggs

4 egg whites

¼ tsp baking powder

Salt to taste

 

Method

  1. Place the two teaspoons of oil into a non-stick pan and heat it up
  2. Add the mushrooms and onions and sauté until there is no liquid left in the pan (generally if you cook these at a higher heat then no liquid accumulates)
  3. Take the mushroom mixture out of the pan and set aside
  4. Add the butter to a non-stick pan that is small enough to accommodate one omelette and put it on the stove
  5. Heat the pan up to the point where the butter is melting and add half the egg mixture (I like to make one omelette at a time so that each person can choose their own filling but you may make this mixture all at once)
  6. When the egg mixture is mostly cooked through add the cheese and the mushroom mixture and fold it over
  7. Continue cooking until the egg is cooked through and is golden brown on the outside
  8. Slide the omelette out the non-stick pan onto a plate and enjoy!

 

Recipe 4

Shakshouka Italian style
egg recipe

Italian style shakshouka baked eggs

1 cup nepoletana sauce

3 – 4 oilves sliced

2 Tbsp fat free feta

1 egg

Salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Place the nepoletana sauce in the base of a small non-stick frying pan
  2. Add the olives and feta cheese and heat up until it is bubbling
  3. Add the egg and cook until it is cooked through (you will see the white of the egg from clear to white as it cooked
  4. When the egg is done use an egg lifter to remove the egg and put it into a bowl
  5. Either pour the rest of the sauce or use a spoon to add the sauce to the same bowl as the egg

Serves 1

NOTE: I make these eggs one at a time but feel free to make more. This dish will also cook successfully in the oven if you want to serve a few people at once. Just begin with more sauce and add the ingredients proportionately

 

Recipe 5

Smoked salmon, feta and spring onion scrambled eggs in pita
salmon and egg recipe

Smoked salmon and feta scrambled eggs

1 Tablespoon butter

4 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

125g fat free feta

100g smoked salmon

2 spring onions

2 pita breads

 

  1. Melt the butter in a non-stick pan
  2. Add the eggs and season with salt and pepper
  3. When the eggs are nearly cooked add the feta, salmon and spring onions and mix through the eggs until the added ingredients are evenly distributed
  4. Cut open a pita and add the eggs to the inside of the pocket and enjoy!

 

Recipe 6

Spinach, feta and olive frittata

 

2 tsp oil

½ onion, finely chopped

200g baby spinach

250g low fat cottage cheese

2 whole eggs

2 egg whites

60g medium fat feta

3 Tbsp sliced olives

Salt to taste

  1. Add the oil to a non-stick pan and sauté the onions until translucent
  2. Steam the spinach for 5 – 7 minutes until it has wilted
  3. Allow the spinach to cool down, chop it up finely and drain off as much liquid as you can
  4. Add the onions and the spinach to the rest of the ingredients and mix well
  5. Spray and dish that is about 20cm x 20cm with olive oil spray and pour the mixture in
  6. Bake at 180C for 35 – 40 minutes until the quiche is light brown and just set in the middle

Serves 2 – 3

 

Recipe 7

Overnight soaked vanilla and coconut oats

¾ c oats (any raw oats will do)

1 cup coconut and rice milk (or any healthy milk of your choice)

10 drops stevia liquid

¼ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp vanilla extract

5 drops caramel essence

 

  1. Combine all the ingredients and leave in the fridge overnight

 

NOTE: You may eat this straight out of the fridge or you may warm it up in the microwave

 

Recipe 8

Raspberry, almond and granola breakfast bowl
fruit and yoghurt bowl

Divine berry, yogurt and almond breakfast bowl

½ c raspberries

1 ½ c vanilla flavoured yoghurt

4 Tbsp blueberries

2 Tbsp slivered almonds

2 Tbsp oats based granola (low sugar)

Edible flowers to garnish

 

Method

  1. Using a pestle and mortar pulverise the berries, making sure to leave the berries somewhat intact (ie not a complete mush)
  2. Combine the yoghurt and berries and mix well
  3. Lay the yoghurt and berry mixture at the bottom of a bowl (I prefer a wider bowl as opposed to a deep bowl because it makes arranging the rest of the ingredients easier)
  4. Going from the side of the bowl gently put down the blueberries, slivered almonds and granola in straight lines
  5. Garnish with edible flowers and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outstanding shredded beef recipe


This weeks healthy and easy shredded beef recipe is the most outstanding shredded beef you have ever tasted. The beef is fall apart delicious and is seriously quick to put together.

Shredded beef is a really versatile recipe to have in your repertoire. It can be made on the stove top or in the slow cooker and it is simply scrumptious. The recipe is quick and easy to put together and is most certainly loved by whole family. The recipe is as simple as browning the meat and adding the rest of the ingredients which are then left to do their thing on the stove.

The recipe uses stewing beef which needs a longer time to cook but boy is it worth the wait. Because of the longer cooking method the meat is soft and juicy and as the title suggests, it just falls apart.

The shredded beef can be used as the base to many meals. The beef can be served on a baked sweet potato, on zucchini noodles or over caulimash. Essentially wherever you would use bolognaise, this shredded beef recipe can be used instead.

I have been making this recipe for years and it’s always a hit. The recipe is quite small though so if you have more than 4 people eating or if you want left overs then double up the recipe. Let me know how it goes, Leanne x

The most outstanding shredded beef 

 

1 Tbsp canola oil

500g lean beef goulash/ stewing beef

1 ½ cups finely chopped carrots, onion and celery

1 sachet (50g) tomato paste

1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 tsp low  garlic and herb seasoning

½ tsp pink Himalayan salt

1 ½ cups water

4 – 5 sweet potatoes or yams

method

  1. Heat the oil in a pot and sear the beef for about 5 minutes until it is well browned
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, mix well and simmer, with the lid on, on a low heat for 2 ½ – 3 hours
  3. At the end of the cooking time use a potato masher to break up the meat into fine pieces
  4. To roast the sweet potatoes or yams, coat each potato in a small amount of oil
  5. Place the potatoes into a roasting pan that has been covered with baking paper and roast for approximately an hour depending on the size of the sweet potatoes or yams
  6. Slice the sweet potato open down the middle and add a serving of the meat to the centre of the sweet potato
shredded beef recipe

The easiest and most outstanding shredded beef recipe