Zucchini and Corn Fritters

It’s the weekend and I’m feeling a bit lazy today. I still wanted to cook (shocker) and make something delicious and healthy so I whipped these up! Ensuring that you are always stocked up on kitchen essentials like flour, eggs and your milk of choice, you can mix and match these with whichever flavours you like! We always have corn kernels at home because they taste amazing and are super convenient. I found half a zucchini in the fridge and wanted to boost these up with more fresh produce so there this dish came to life for my lunch today!

If you are time poor, these are great because they can be made and cooked in 10 minutes. They would also work great as a prepared work lunch which you could reheat later on.

Zucchini and Corn Fritters (yields 3 fritters)

What you’re going to need

1/3 cup self raising flour

1 egg

1 tablespoon soy milk

1 75g tin corn kernels

1/4 zucchini, grated

salt and pepper

Method

  1. In a small bowl, sift the flour. Mix through the egg and milk until a uniform non lumpy batter forms.
  2. Mix through the corn and zucchini with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  3. Heat up a non stick fry pan on a medium to high heat. Add equal amounts of batter onto the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve hot with a side salad and sweet chilli sauce!

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Protein Choc Chip Pancakes

So some of us out there absolutely hate the taste of protein shakes. Alas, a great way to get extra protein into your diet if you feel like you are not eating enough protein rich food is to put it in your own cooked goods! A friend of mine suggested I try protein pancakes! I had some leftover dairy free choc chips so thought I would put them to good use! These were divine and best of all, the only added sugar was the chocolate chips! The batter has no added sugar. These are dairy free and egg free pancakes too!

Protein Choc Chip Pancakes

What you’re going to need

3/4 cup plain flour

2 scoops protein powder

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup non dairy milk (rice, almond, soy)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

pinch salt

2 tablespoons dairy free choc chips**

Method

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients minus the choc chips.
  2. Add in the wet ingredients and stir until well combined. Once combined, stir in the choc chips until distributed well through the batter (aside: if you want, leave the batter to stand for 5 minutes so that the baking powder and liquid have time to react and will therefore lead to fluffier pancakes)
  3. Heat up a non stick pan and pour even amounts of batter spaced apart enough to give room to flip. Cook on each side for approximately 2 minutes
  4. Serve with additional choc chips and maple syrup!

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** I found dairy free choc chips at my local Coles supermarket. I am not sure if they are sold overseas. If you can’t find them, you could cut up some dairy free chocolate into small chunks and mix through the batter. You will end up with a similar result! 

Peanut, Almond and Chia Butter

No nut butter on hand, no worries! Well as long as you have nuts on hand then this can help you sort out the problem! Or, you might just want to try out a new combination of nut spread that doesn’t exist or is too expensive. It is also a healthy choice for you too because you know exactly what stays in and what stays out of your nut butter! I was actually shocked when I was making this that you don’t need any oil or liquids to bring it all together! All you need is a bit of patience. For anyone out there who may not be convinced that they can make their own nut butter at home, here is what I did (and I’m not some miracle worker/chef so if I can do it, so can you!)

Peanut, Almond and Chia Butter 

What you’re going to need

1 cup peanuts

1 cup almonds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Method

1. Add all your ingredients to a food processor.

2. Process for at least 15 minutes (don’t give up, I assure you butter will form!) but make sure you occasionally scrape down the sides as you go. You will also notice that the mixture will be getting quite warm which aids in the butter production

3. Serve with toast or use as a base for ingredients such as protein bars (future post in the works!)

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Quinoa Tacos

So I’ve been thinking about making this all week so when I finally had enough time to do it, I was super excited! I love tacos, the ones with beef mince or chicken, but sometimes you just feel like something a little lighter for lunch. Also, who really knows what  is in the store bought taco shells anyway! If you’re looking for a healthier taco variation, I’ve got one for you! This recipe is also vegan and glutenfree for those with special dietary requirements!

Quinoa Tacos (serves 1)

What you’re going to need

1/2 cup quinoa

1 cup water

1 baby cos lettuce (I used 5 leaves)

1/2 avocado, diced

1 tomato, diced

1 tin corn kernels (75g)

Taco seasoning (if you don’t have all the spices , you can use a premixed one or substitute ingredients with ones that you do have)

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon chilli powder

salt and pepper

Method

1. To prepare the quinoa, place the quinoa and water in a medium sized saucepan. Bring to the boil. Whilst the saucepan is coming to the boil, prepare your taco seasoning

2. Once water has boiled, turn down the heat to a simmer and place 1 teaspoon of the seasoning into the saucepan. Stir until well combined, then cook covered until the water has evaporated (about 10 minutes). Stir every few minutes to make sure the seasoning is well distributed through the quinoa

3. Whilst the quinoa is cooking, prepare your salsa by combining the corn, avocado and tomato in a small bowl.

4. Place 5 lettuces leaves on a plate and when quinoa is ready, spoon a heaped tablespoon into each leave. Top with the salsa and voila!

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Carrot Dip

So you’ve got a whole bunch of carrots left in the fridge. You’re not really feeling carrot sticks or just boring old boiled carrots. What do you do? Make a dip! As I have written about previously, hummus is my dip of choice so thought I’d a put a spin on it by using the abundance of leftover carrots that I had in the fridge instead of chickpeas. The carrots actually give the dip a subtle element of sweetness which is not overpowering in the slightest! It also provides a vibrantly coloured dip which I am obsessed with. The colour makes the dish really! This will take an extra five minutes to make in comparison to my go-to hummus but I assure you, it is worth the extra little bit of effort.

Carrot Dip (yield 1 cup)

What you’re going to need

3 medium sized carrots, sliced into circles (honestly shape doesn’t matter because they’ll be blended anyway. However the smaller you cut your carrot the faster they will cook)

2 teaspoons tahini

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cumin

salt to season

Method

1. Boil water in a medium saucepan. Once boiled, cook your carrots until you can easily stick a fork through them.

2. Drain your carrots but retain about 1/2 a cup of the water.

3. Add all of the ingredients except the water into a pulse blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. (May need to add some of the carrot water just depends how smooth you would like it!)

4. Serve with crackers or vegetables such as cucumbers or celery (or I guess you could serve it with carrots too…I’ll leave you to decide on that one!)

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Blueberry Muffins

Muffins of any kind are a great, light breakfast option if you’re stuck for time and need to eat on the run. They’re also perfect snacks and an excellent solution for 3:30itis. My goal with these muffins today was to get the crispy muffin tops which can only be achieved by cooking the whole muffin. If anyone out there has seen Seinfeld, there is an entire episode dedicated to Muffin Tops. I put this batch in the oven and hoped for the best and to my surprise, they came out with crispy tops! For all of you that want blueberry muffins with crispy tops, this is how I did it!

Blueberry Muffins

What you’re going to need

1 cup blueberries

1 1/2 cups self raising flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

2 tablespoons olive spread, melted

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius

2. Grease your muffin tins with cooking spray (or can use pattie pans)

3. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Then, add all the other ingredients and mix together until well combined

4. Spoon mixture into muffin tins (mine yielded 6 as I wanted bigger muffins and crispy tops, but you could easily stretch the mix to make more)

5. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean from the centre of one of the muffins

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Tuna Zucchini Pasta Salad

So I absolutely love seafood! Unfortunately seafood can be a bit expensive at times and also inconvenient as I only like buying seafood from specific places. However, tinned tuna is my saviour and it’s always an item on hand at home. I wanted to add some protein to this salad and as I was in a bit of a hurry, tuna was the easiest choice. For this recipe, I have loaded the salad with greens so that it is super healthy! Also the best thing about it too is that I did not use any oils. I made a dressing out of the smashed avocado which i lightly seasoned and then I mixed that through the salad to give it moisture. It works as a creamy dressing so was a perfect accompaniment for the zucchini. I like making salads because it forces you to be creative with ingredients you have readily available. It is incredibly easy to whip together and so there’s no excuse to reach for fried or “fast foods”. This will actually save you a bit of coin too.

Tuna Zucchini Pasta Salad

What you’re going to need

1 tin tuna (any kind is fine, a healthier option is to choose one in springwater as opposed to oil)

1/2 zucchini, julienned

handful baby rocket

handful baby spinach

1/2 avocado, mashed (to prevent making more washing up, just mash up your avo whilst it is still in the skin. Its works as a bowl!)

10 walnuts

salt and pepper

lemon juice (optional)

Method

1. Season the avocado with salt and pepper

2. Place the tuna, zucchini, rocket and spinach in a bowl and combine with tongs.

3. Scoop the avocado in and mix through until all the ingredients are coated with avocado

4. Top with walnuts.

5. Drizzle with lemon (optional)

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