The Fabulous Hawkins Banana & Honey Loaf!

This is a recipe I have been making for a very long time! I absolutely LOVE bananas, I eat them everyday… and when I was in my mid 20’s and trying to fit in university, sport, a part time job, and a social life (of sorts!), I used to make this as a ‘grab and go’ / ‘lunchbox’ – type snack. I now make it for my busy family for the same reason, and it is always a winner… a full loaf barely lasts us 48 hours!

This loaf is so yummy, full of fibre, Low GI for sustained energy and balanced blood sugars and just SO easy to make (no strange ‘health food shop only’ ingredients).

So for busy mum’s, families with active children or teenagers, or busy working couples, this is especially for you. I have made some modifications over the years and this is how I do it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour OR (this is a recent modification) 1 cup of wholemeal self raising flour and 1/2 cup of almond meal (keeps it moist and adds texture / flavour).
  • 1 teaspoon bi-carb soda
  • 3 bananas mashed
  • 1/2 cup of good quality honey
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten

Method:

(These days I literally ‘throw it all in and stir like mad… usually because it is 6 am or 11 pm when I am making it!) The proper way is:

  • Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius
  • Line a loaf tim with baking paper
  • put flour and almond meal (if using) into a bowl and mix through the bi-carb soda
  • Add mashed banana, oil, eggs and honey
  • Stir until mixture is smooth (may have banana lumps), it will be a runny mixture.
  • Pour into loaf tin and bake for 45 mins on 150 degrees C, fan forced. Make sure you check it after 35 mins as some ovens are hotter that others… strange but true.
  • Leave to cool in tin for 10 mins.

I usually eat it plain, hot from the oven. You can put light cream cheese or olive oil spread on it, but it really doesn’t need it… oh and I vaguely remember (when it was just me), that it lasts in a air tight container for almost a week!

Enjoy!

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Healthy, Wholefoods, Creamy – Fettuccine!

Is it possible? a healthy, low in saturated fat, tasty and fresh version of Creamy Fettuccine?

Here it is! I made this on friday night and it was so good I just had to share with you all today. Here is the base recipe, I added chicken, chili and broccolini to mine, and chicken, chili and fresh basil to my husbands (he really has an aversion to broccolini!). We both agreed that this dish it really lovely at the end of a long week, it can be nicely paired with vino of your choice and does not leave you feeling heavy and sluggish like the original creamy sauces can. Fabulous for kids too!

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 4 cups of vegetable stock, or chicken stock (I used chicken stock because it was what I had in the freezer, and also I was pairing it with chicken.)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese grated.
  • ½ cup low-fat milk (your choice of dairy, nut or rice milk)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped chives
  • 500g fettucine pasta

Method:

Heat olive oil over a medium heat in a large saucepan. Sauté garlic until fragrant, about 3 – 4 minutes.

Add the cauliflower and cover with vegetable / chicken stock. Cook for 10 – 12 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta ‘al dente’.

Drain the cauliflower, reserving 1 cup of the stock. Transfer the cauliflower to a food processor or blender and add 1 cup of stock and ½ cup low-fat milk.

You can continue to add more stock or milk, until a sauce consistency is achieved based on your preference, and it is smooth without any lumps. Add the cheese, chives and black pepper to taste. Toss through the cooked fettucine and top with a little extra cheese if desired.

* Ideas to toss through some protein options might be chicken, smoked salmon, firm white fish or scollops. For a meal packed with veggies some grated zucchini and finely chopped broccolini goes nicely!

Enjoy! xx

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Home-Style Pad Thai with Chicken

Take away foods are ALWAYS laden with salt and sugar… and often contain other additives. A few years ago I started making ‘homemade takeaway’, and my family are used to it now! We have homemade fish and chips, homemade pad thai, homemade rice paper rolls, homemade sushi, homemade burritos and homemade Korma – all using whole foods and no added salt or sugar, and they are just as tasty!

Here is my Pad Thai recipe. You can substitute the chicken for lean beef or prawns, to your taste OR you can make the base and add different meats ‘to order’ for different family members… just like real takeaway!

Ingredients

  • Peanut or sesame oil
  • 300g flat rice noodles
  • 2 Chicken breasts (approx. 500 g)
  • 4-5 spring onions (to taste)
  • 2-3 small red chillies finely chopped (to taste)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 2 cups of roughly chopped cabbage
  • 45 g of roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed / chopped
  • 1 Handful of coriander (to taste)
  • Lime wedges to serve

Sauce

  • Juice of one lime
  • Juice of two lemons
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup of warm water

Method

  • Cover noodles with boiling water and stand until tender. Drain and set aside.
  • Mix lemon juice, fish sauce, honey, lime juice and 1 Tsp water in a bowl and wisk well.
  • Cut the chicken breasts in half. Place the wok over a high heat and add a tablespoon of peanut or sesame oil. Place the chicken in the wok and cook through until nice and brown on the outside. Take out of the wok and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Slice the chicken thinly and set aside.
  • Heat ½ tablespoon of oil in wok and add the chilli, garlic and spring onions.
  • Add the lightly wisked egg and mix until egg is cooked.
  • Add the chicken, cabbage, bean sprouts, sauce, half the coriander and noodles.
  • Once all cooked through and cabbage has softened, serve up into 4 bowls, add crushed peanuts and rest of the coriander to garnish. Lime wedges to serve
  • Enjoy!

 

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Wholefoods Banana, Blueberry and Coconut Pancakes

I haven’t made these for so long, I can’t even remember the last time! I used to make them a lot, before I started working on weekends… but Fathers Day last Sunday called for something a bit special. So I trolled through my recipe folder (which is quite big these days) and found this recipe, all stained and much loved. We made them together – and they were just DELICIOUS!!

High in protein, and with the added goodness of fruit, these pancakes are naturally sweet, so there is no need for added sugar, and very filling!

Enjoy my wholefoods take on traditional ‘pancakes’.

(makes 10 small pancakes)

Ingredients

  • 3 large ripe (or slightly over ripe) bananas
  • 4 eggs plus 2 egg whites (lightly beaten)
  • ½ cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup of blueberries (fresh or frozen and thawed)
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil OR 1 tablespoon olive oil for cooking (depends on your preference and taste!)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • For serving – either lashings of pure maple syrup OR natural yogurt OR, my favourite – both!

Method

1. Mash the bananas with a fork and place in a medium sized bowl.

2. Add eggs and coconut and wisk all together

3. Add blueberries and stir through.

4. Heat the oil in the pan to a medium heat (not too hot!) and use about 3 tablespoons of batter for each pancake.

5. Serve with natural yogurt, maple syrup and some extra coconut.

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Nourishing Apple Crumble

I have two ALL TIME favourite desserts – Sticky date pudding and apple crumble. Just wonderful childhood memories of both. Here is my latest recipe for apple crumble, a little bit different to how my mum used to make it, but just as tasty!

Ingredients:
6 large apples in season – cored and sliced thinly (It is up to you if you choose to peel the apples, personally I like them unpeeled and cut quite chunky, but if I am baking this for guests, I peel the apples first)
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeded
3 tbsp water
zest of ½ lemon
6 cinnamon quills or 2tsp ground cinnamon

crumble:
¾ cup spelt flour
¾ cup rolled oats
¾ cup shredded coconut
¼ cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup almond oil (or another nut based oil like macadamia oil)
½ chopped raw macadamias, almonds, cashews and walnuts (or any combination that you like!)

crockpot-apple-crisp

METHOD:

  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Put the apples in a saucepan with scraped vanilla bean seeds AND the pod, zest from the lemon + 3tbsp water, cover with lid + place over med heat to cook for approx 10 minutes or until apples are just tender.
  • In a separate bowl mix the crumble together.
  • Place half the apples in a baking dish (with vanilla bean), arrange cinnamon quills on top, then place the remaining apple on top, followed by evenly spread crumble to finish.
  • Bake for 45 min or until crumble is slightly brown + crispy.
  • Serve with a dollop of good quality natural or vanilla yogurt.
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Roasted Mushrooms with Goats Cheese, Baby Spinach and Pine Nuts

Mushrooms are a good source of B vitamins, including riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, which help to provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. B vitamins also play an important role in the nervous system.
Mushrooms are also an important source on Selenium and Potassium and other trace minerals.
Try this fabulous mushroom dish – Perfect for healthy, super tasty brunch, lunch or as an entrée to your evening meal… you wont be disappointed!

Serves: 4
Cooking: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

8 large Portobello mushrooms, stalks removed
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
150g goats cheese
40g baby spinach, finely shredded
2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbs pine nuts, toasted
2 tbs sourdough breadcrumbs
Toasted sour dough bread & lemon wedges, to serve

METHOD

Preheat oven 200°C fan forced. Place the mushrooms, stalk side up on a baking tray and drizzle a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and scatter over thyme and sliced garlic. Roast for 5 minutes or until almost tender.
Remove from the oven. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix the goats cheese, spinach, chopped parsley and pine nuts together. Spoon evenly among the mushroom and then sprinkle with sourdough crumbs.
Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until golden on top. Serve with toasted bread and lemon wedges.

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