Curried Okra & Roast Tomato Frittata

I love it when what begins as a random throw-together of ingredients becomes something delicious! I usually make a curry when cooking with okra, or ‘lady’s fingers’, but this time I tried my hand at something a little different.

Truth be told I’m not a big tomato fan but I had some big organic tomatoes from the farmer’s market that needed to be used up so I halved them and popped them into the oven with some olive oil to roast – which for me makes them instantly more appetizing! How long they take depends on their size but after approximately 20 mins at 200.C flip them so they roast evenly on both sides then return for another 15 mins.

Then I set about frying 2 cloves of garlic in 1 tsp coconut oil with some sea salt over medium heat. After 1-2 minutes I added a chopped fresh red chili (seeds and all!). Once the garlic had started to turn golden I added 1 tsp of curry powder for 1 min, to release the flavour, then I added 1kg of chopped okra and 1 tbsp coconut oil. These veggies really soak up the oil and in order to get them soft and tender more oil than I would usually use is needed.

Leave the okra to cook over medium-low heat, tossing continuously for 25-30 mins.

Once the tomatoes are roasted, make space to fit them, flat side down on pan and continue to cook over a low heat for a further 10-15 mins. **Note: Don’t turn the oven off – you’ll need it again soon!

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Also, throughout this recipe, while the veggies are cooking you don’t need to stay tied to the stove – leave them to cook while you go about your business in the house and just toss occasionally to ensure they are cooking evenly and that the temperature is not too high.

Finally, crack 6 eggs into a bowl and whisk then pour over the okra and tomatoes so that all are covered and transfer the pan from the stove top to the oven to bake until set (approx. 6-8 mins).

Allow to cool slightly then slice and enjoy! Or this recipe also tastes great re-heated the next day so bring leftovers for lunch 🙂

Indian Pancakes

After moving to Al Barsha area this year I have become obsessed with the all-veg Indian restaurant chain, that is, Saravanna Bhavan, and their lust-worthy dosa. In less than 3 weeks I have visited 5 times – I know.. I may be O-D-ing but it is just so simply good – and only a 5 minute walk from my apartment!

So you could imagine my delight when I found stocked in the Blue Mart supermarket, next to my apartment, the Saravanna dosa pre-packaged dosa and idly mixture!! ❤

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Now admittedly mine are not a patch on the thin, crispy crepe-like dosas that Saravanna are serving up but it was fun for me to experiment and try my own take on Indian pancakes!

The mixture is also very simple to replicate at home consisting of rice flour and water with some salt, pepper and fenugreek for flavour.

There is a considerable amount of mixture in the bag and because I made them thicker than usual dosas and bigger than usual idlys, I trialled a few different versions, including stuffed, served with okra curry and Sri-Lankan egg hopper style, but the general method remains the same.

Heat oil in a pan. Pour the rice mixture in a swirl so it covers the entire pan.

For the first version I added some kale leaves then folded half the pancake over, cooking until golden on both sides.

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In the meantime I re-heated some Okra I had cooked with chillies and coconut milk and I served them together with some fresh basil and dill.

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Version two started the same as above but instead of adding kale I instead made a slight well in the centre of the pancake and inside cracked two eggs and added a sprinkle of curry leaves and ground paprika.

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 I then placed the lid on the pan so the eggs would steam-cook.

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Once the whites were set I removed the pan from the heat.

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Transfer to a plate, add some more fresh herbs and DIG IN! If you want your yolks set just leave for another 2-3 minutes on the heat but I love them runny!

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Carribbean-Inspired Fish Fingers

Scratch the breadcrumbs and say hello to the coconut!

This recipe is really easy to put together and only takes a few minutes to cook. Plus it’s surprisingly filling!

Ingredients: 

Any white fish, e.g.: Cod fillets x 4

1 bag Desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

2 Eggs

Sea salt & Fresh herbs to garnish

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Begin by preheating the oven to 200.C. Then line a baking tray with baking paper and cut the fish into your desired size pieces, or if the fillets are small as mine were, you can leave them whole.

Beat the eggs in a bowl & in another shallow bowl, or plate, pour a generous amount of the coconut flakes.

Dip the fish pieces first into the beaten egg, ensuring it is well covered and then roll it in the desiccated coconut until completely covered.

Place the coated fish pieces on the baking tray and repeat until all fish is prepared.

Bake for approx. 10 minutes, this may vary depending on your oven; or until golden brown.

Season with a good pinch of sea salt and some fresh herbs.

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A Paleo Breakfast – Carrot & Chia Hash with Poached Eggs

The perfect light, but filling, alternative to bread with added chia healthy bonus points!

Ingredients:

1 carrot

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 tsp coconut oil

2 eggs

Dash of nut or rice milk

1 bunch of asparagus

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Grate 1 carrot into a bowl, add the chia seeds and a dash of milk so the seeds can absorb the liquid and bind the grated carrot pieces together. This will take a couple of minutes so shape into your desired hash size/s and leave to firm while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Wash, dry and cut the end stem from the asparagus. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with 1 tsp coconut oil and grill for 4-5 minutes under medium-high heat.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil then reduce to a simmer, this will be used to poach the eggs in a moment.

At this point you can add the other 1 tsp coconut oil to a pan over a high medium-high heat and begin to try your carrot-chia hash/s.

While the hash/s are frying and asparagus are grilling, poach your eggs. Crack the eggs into a cup or milk jug first. Swirl the now simmering water in the pan with a spoon to create like a whirlpool. Gently pour the eggs into the centre of this whirlpool, this will help to keep the eggs together. Cook until the whites are set – less than 3-4 minutes.

While the eggs are busy poaching, flip your hash/s nd your asparagus should now be ready to remove from the grill. Transfer to a heated plate and enjoy as a side. Once the eggs are cooked, serve immediately on top of your hash/s.

Carrot & chia seed hash with egg & asparagus

Bon appetito!

Eggcellent Ideas!

 Eggs are not just for breakfast. The make a great brunch or lunch, giving you an important mid-day protein punch, or they can make a quick and light evening supper.

 Here are some of my favourite ways to enjoy them to inspire you…

Poached with spinach, sprouted mung beans and a drizzle of basil pesto.

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With avocado and chilli flakes on toast.

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For a real paleo treat– line a bun tray with turkey slices and crack an egg into each. Season then bake until whites are set.

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Omlettes are ideal for using up any leftovers you have in the fridge – below is a spinach, cherry tomatoes and goat’s cheese version.

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Baked in an avocado half – simple scoop out enough avocado so that you can break with egg into the centre and then carefully place under the grill until the white is set.

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And don’t forget my previous post for Skillet Baked Eggs

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Toss a soft/hard-boiled into a salad for extra sustenance on the go!

Roast sweet potato, figs, egg, herbs

So you see – the humble little egg really can jazz up many a meal!

How do you enjoy yours?

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The Perfect Crispy Skin Salmon

While in Ireland at Christmas I found a fantastic range of 100% buckwheat noodles, called King Soba. Many advertised buckwheat noodles contain wheat flour as well as buckwheat but these do not, so also be sure to read the label if you are avoiding wheat or gluten. There are a couple of varieties to choose from but I opted for the black rice and sweet potato and buckwheat versions as seen below and I love how they came portion-prepared. Extremely useful for those struggling with portion control.

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Ready to be eaten in approx. 5 minutes, (follow the instructions on back of pack carefully as when over-cooked they completely disintegrate!), they are delicious served alongside a crisp and juicy piece of salmon which I will share with you below just how to achieve!

I boiled my black rice noodles in organic mushroom stock while simultaneously preparing and cooking my perfect crispy-skin salmon which also only takes 6-7 minutes meaning you have a beautiful, healthy and nutritious dinner in less than 10 minutes!

What to do:

Place a fresh wild  (this is very important as farmed salmon doesn’t have those important omega-3s we need!) salmon fillet, face down, on a plate and make 3 incisons into the skin evenly spaced and then rub sea salt into the skin. These incisions ensure even cooking and the salt helps crisp the skin.

Heat coconut oil over medium heat and once hot place the salmon skin side down onto the pan. The great thing about salmon is if you watch the fillet from the side you can see it changing colour and cooking. After 3-4 minutes, when the colour has changed approximately half way up the fillet, flip the fish over and continue to cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to rest as fish continues to cook once taken off the heat.

I love Gordon Ramsey’s YouTube tutorial video so if you are a little unsure definitely pop this on! (Skip to 2:24)

 

Once the noodles are cooked to al dente, strain and serve with the salmon and some fresh herbs on top!

Crispy skin salmon and black rice noodles

Wrap & Roll

Us Irish islanders are extremely lucky to only have an abundance of fantastic land produce but also sea – and I’m not talking fish. I’m talking about that slippery, slimy stuff that gets wrapped around your leg at the beach (on the one day of the year the sun comes out) and you begin flapping about hysterically thinking it’s a jelly-fish, called seaweed.

As I mentioned in my previous DIY Face Masks blog post, I love Irish brand Voya, which uses seaweed in all their beauty products, but as well as using seaweed externally I also love eating the stuff & I am going to be sharing a number of different seaweed recipes with you over the coming weeks.

There are a variety of seaweeds and people are probably most familiar with nori which is commonly in sushi and Japanese cuisine. I use nori all the time as a wheat-free wrap alternative or as a tasty garnish on soups. You can find nori sheets inexpensively in health-food stores, Asian markets and large supermarkets. Sometimes they are already crisp and toasted for you while others you just need to hold them over a gas burner or a hot plate for a few seconds until they turn bright green and are then ready to use. Below I will share with you some ideas of how to use it but first – why you should use it!

Nori is packed full of antioxidants, why do you think those Japanese live so long! It has a 50% protein content and just one sheet has more fibre than a cup of raw spinach and more omega-3 fatty acids than a cup of avocado!

Remember my Baked Sweet Potato Falafel recipe, work great as a carb-free Falafel wrap alternative. In the picture below, I used smashed the falafel before rolling up in my nori sheet with avocado, tahini, pomegranate and sprouts.

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My Healthy Version of a Falafel Wrap

You can literally put anything you like in your nori wraps, that’s why I love them because they are so versatile but fish does work particularly well so I often use smoked salmon, prawns or tuna steak in mine.

597Lunch/Dinner Inspiration: Pictured above are prawn and avocado nori rolls with quinoa lettuce cups.

It’s worth mentioning that because the wraps are so light I usually have two and fill each with something wholesome such as avocado or Cashew Nut Cheese (as is in the side dish below) for healthy fats and extra filling-power.

Nori rolls & cashew nut cheese dip

Eat Your (Sea)-Veggies!

In my previous Wrap & Roll post I told you I would be sharing other sea vegetable dishes so here we are!

 I like to use include dilisk/dulse, kelp, sea lettuce and arame in both cold and warm salad dishes. They great thing about seaweed is not only their amazing nutritional benefits – high protein, mineral, iron, fibre and iodine – but they are inexpensive to buy. I picked up a small bag of Irish company Carraig Fhada’s Dilisk (more commonly known as dulse) seaweed in my local health store for just over €2! (Thats approx, 9AED for U.A.E. readers).

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Arame, which can be found in dried thin strips, works partcularly well with root vegetable flavours and I  love it on my Roasted Sweet Potato Soup.

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 For salads kelp, dulse and sea lettuce are my favourite. Refresh dried seaweed under water and then enjoy as they are, or crisp them under the grill for 2-3 minutes for a delicious warm salad alternative.

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Comptoir 102 café here in Dubai do a beautiful cold seaweed salad with avocado, sprouts, crackers and bi-coloured sesame seeds or try out my Dilisk Seaweed (& food) Salad below.

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Warm Prawn & Dilisk Seaweed Salad

Crisp some dulse seaweed for 2-3 minutes under the grill.

While that’s happening, fry 2 cloves of garlic for 1-2 minutes in coconut oil before adding fresh un-cooked prawns with some salt, pepper and dried chilli flakes.

The prawns take between 4-8 minutes to cook depending on size so while they are sizzling away, top your now crisped seaweed with some avocado and pomegranate seeds and then spoon your garlicky prawns on top with some fresh herbs!

I love how the coconut oil cooked prawns provide their own garlic-chili-oil dressing!

Weekend Brunch Board

So it’s the weekend and after a long week of work, school or studies, most of us want a break from cooking so here’s a really simple breakfast, lunch or brunch munch that’s not only wholesome and filling but super-easy to throw together with whatever leftovers you have in your fridge.

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Mine has a poached egg, avocado with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, rocket leaves, semi-dried tomatoes, black & green olives, lightly steamed asparagus, sugar snap peas (raw/straight from the packet so they are nice and crunchy) and hummus with fresh pomegranate. Divine!

**Nutritional yeast is a great vegan supplement has it packed full of B-vitamins which they may lack in their day-day diets. However, it’s a delicious, healthy addition to any non-vegans diet too. It has a cheesy taste to it so makes a great substitute for Parmesan on pasta dishes for example or can in fact replace cheese in any dish that requires it; for example cheese sauces or lasagne.