Rainbow Frittata

Frittata is like a fancy version of an omelette, or a lazy version of a quiche. There’s no need to make pastry, but at the same time it takes a little more effort than just throwing everything in a pan.

It makes a great Sunday brunch. The leftovers can be used the next day for breakfast, lunch or dinner! Serve with a side salad or rice, topped with some goats cheese or an avocado, or just as it is depending on how hungry you are!

I like to make a substantial meal out of it by throwing in as many different veggies as possible, including some sweet potato. Since it turned out particularly multi-coloured, I named it Rainbow Frittata. You don’t have to use these exact veggies yourself- just use whatever you have in the fridge!

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Eggs are extremely nutrient-dense little foods. As well as being a great source of high quality protein, they contain heart-protecting omega-3, they are also high in lutein and which is great for eye health, they also contain good amounts of vitamins A, D, E and B 12 as well as iron.

Not all eggs are created equal however. We don’t always think about it, but the conditions the chickens are raised in affect the health of their eggs. Eggs from free range chickens are far better for us that those from cage raised chickens.  A healthy chicken who can run around outside, perch, and have a relatively good life will lay much healthier eggs than a caged hen who is squashed into a tiny space with lots of other chickens, can’t stand up, and is fed out of a feed lot.  If you can get organic free range, then even better! Dr. Josh Axe summarizes the differences between the nutritional value of caged and free range eggs here, and it’s quite surprising –  Free range eggs contain 1/3 less cholesterol, 1/4 less saturated fat, 2/3 more vitamin A, twice as much omega-3, three times the vitamin E, and 7 times more beta-carotene than cage raised! So there ya go, you’ve six more reasons to make more ethical choices in the supermarket.

*This recipe is grain-free, paleo-friendly, vegetarian-friendly, & gluten-free*

Rainbow Frittata

SERVES: 4 as a main (or 8 as a side) | COOK: 25 mins | PREP: 5 mins

 

INGREDIENTS

2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 large sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced into discs

1 medium courgette, thinly sliced into discs

1/2 a red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1/2 a yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

8 medium eggs (organic and free-range if possible)

a few handfuls of baby spinach

salt and pepper, to taste

optional extra: parsley and chives (or some other fresh green herbs of your choice!)

 

METHOD

1. Heat a large pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and sweet potatoes, cover, and leave for 6-8 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are beginning to soften;

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2. Add the courgette and pepper slices with a little salt and pepper, then cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Then stir in the spinach and cook for another minute until wilted;

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3. While you’re waiting, prep your eggs by whisking them thoroughly in a bowl with a fork and any pent up frustration you can muster! I added some salt and pepper here too;

4. Pour the egg mixture over your veggies in the pan. You can add half of your chopped herbs here too if you’re using them. Then cook on LOW heat for about 10 minutes until most of the mixture has set but the top is still a bit runny (if the heat is too high the eggs may go a weird grey colour so best to avoid this if possible);

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5. Finish by sticking it under the grill (broiler) for a couple of minutes until golden! (Warning, keep an eye on it as it can go too golden very fast! As you can see mine is more of a brown than a golden in the middle…)

6. Sprinkle with parsley, chives or whatever herb you fancy and serve!

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Grain-free Coconut Granola

This granola may lead to some serious snacking-by-the-handful. You’ve been warned! It is amazingly delicious with almond milk, on top of porridge, or as a homemade trail mix to snack on when you’re on the go!

I decided to try out a grain-free one because I seemed to be eating oats non-stop there for a couple of weeks and thought I’d try something new. The oats have been replaced with coconut flakes (the big kinds, not desiccated coconut!). They go a lovely golden colour and have a moreish crunchy texture- you’d hardly notice there are no oats!

This granola is packed full of nutrients since it is made entirely of lightly toasted nuts and seeds coated in a little maple syrup and coconut oil. It is inspired by a recipe by Dr. Sarah Ballantine, an award-winning paleo food blogger (see original here).

Grain-free Granola

*This recipe is vegan-friendly, paleo-friendly, grain-free, refined sugar-free & gluten-free *

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PREP TIME: 5 minutes | COOKING TIME: 20-25 mins

INGREDIENTS

dry:

2 cups coconut flakes

2 cups mixed nuts (I used a mix of walnuts, pecans, almonds, brazils, and hazelnuts)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

*you’ll need to buy the coconut flakes, nuts and seeds raw and unsalted 

wet:

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil

a few turns of the sea salt grinder (optional)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius (fan oven).
  2. Cover a large baking pan with some parchment paper.
  3. Pulse the mixed nuts in a blender until they break down a little bit, but still have a good bit of texture and CRUNCH!(Or just chop with a knife if you don’t have a blender).
  4. Put the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  5. Put the wet ingredients in a small saucepan, melt over a low heat, and stir gently until combined.
  6. Pour wet ingredients over the dry ones and stir until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Place the mixture on a large baking tray and spread out evenly.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the coconut chips turn a golden brown. You might need to shake and turn it halfway through. (Always keep an eye on your granola because it is sooo easy to burn-I’ve done it so many times!)
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking tray before storing in an airtight container.

 

Cashew-Cacao Spring Balls

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Happy Spring everyone! Apparently the first day of Spring was on Monday. I don’t know about everywhere else, but it definitely feels more like winter here in Dublin today (thanks to the grey skies and sideways rain). If you’re like me and sometimes need a little chocolatey pick-me-up to keep you going on grey days like these, you’ll LOVE this delicious little number.

There are so many variations on energy ball recipes out there. Personally, I like to keep it simple. These Cashew-Cacao Spring Balls contain only 5 ingredients, and will definitely put a spring in your step! (Pro tip: if you’re watching you sodium intake, they work great without the sea salt, and will only contain 4 ingredients! Yuss!)

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5 ingredients: cashews, dates, cacao powder, coconut oil & sea salt.

Medjool dates are appearing in all sorts of recipes lately, and it’s no wonder really. They have an amazing ability to add natural sweetness as well as a delicious, caramelly texture to sweet dishes. On top of that, they are a great source of  potassium, magnesium and fibre! This recipe works out at less than 1 date per ball, so you don’t even need that many dates to get that amazing decadent, sweet taste!

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When it comes to choosing sweeteners, it’s important to choose your poison wisely, and enjoy in moderation. Some good options are dates, raw honey, good quality maple syrup, and coconut blossom sugar. Remember that all these healthy(ish) sweeteners DO contain naturally-occuring sugars (mostly glucose and fructose), so are not sugar-free. They’re just refined sugar-free. 

The difference between eating lots of dates and eating lots of refined (cane) sugar is that when you eat refined sugar all you get is the calories, with absolutely no other nutrients. When you choose a natural, unprocessed sweetener (like the ones mentioned above), you’re getting lots of other great nutrients along with the natural sugars in dates. For this reason, natural sweeteners are more satiating, and less likely to lead to a sugar crash a few hours later.

Now, the fun part: the recipe. Warning: this one involves getting your hands messy!

 

*This recipe is vegan-friendly, gluten-free, refined sugar-free & grain-free*

Cashew-Cacao Spring Balls

MAKES: approx. 12  | PREP TIME: 20 min

INGREDIENTS

7 dates

150g cashews

3 tablespoons cacao powder

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

METHOD

Pro tip: if the Medjool dates you bought are a bit tough, you might need to soak them in boiling water for about 15 minutes, and then drain them before adding them in step 2, with a tablespoon of their soaking water.  

  1. Place 2/3 of the cashews in a blender or food processor, and blend until you get a fine flour. Throw in the remainder of the cashews and pulse to get a rougher texture. Take all cashews out and set aside.
  2. Place the dates and the tablespoon of melted coconut oil in the food processor, and blend until you get a thick paste.
  3. Add the blended cashews back in on top of the dates, along with the cacao powder and sea salt. Blend everything together until you get a thick, chocolate-y dough-like texture (see photos).
  4. Pinch a bit of the mixture into your hands and roll until it forms a ball (about the size of a ping-pong ball). Repeat until you run out of mixture. It made 12 for me.
  5. Place in a container in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up, then store in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-5 days.

 

 

 

Spiced Chickpea Buddha Bowl

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I don’t know about you, but for me it’s time to put down the pancakes and reach for something a little bit more wholesome! When I was on a US road trip last summer, I stopped to hang out with some friends in LA and ended up in a vegan cafe where we were served bowls of warm, delicious, nourishing food. This was my first experience of what I would call a Buddha bowl: basically, a nourishing, plant-based meal comprised of  a starch or grain, some beans or pulses, and some raw or cooked veggies all piled into a bowl, with a delicious sauce or garnish on top.

I love eating meals out of bowls, for some reason it’s just so comforting! The idea of serving filling, wholesome plant-based food in a bowl on a cold rainy night was just what I needed, so I made this very simple spiced chickpea Buddha bowl. Before I go any further, let me say that I have adapted this recipe from one of my favourite food bloggers, Minimalist Baker. They are AWESOME. You can find the original recipe here.

*This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free & grain-free*

Spiced Chickpea Buddha Bowl

SERVES: 2   |   PREP TIME: 5 mins  |   COOKING TIME: 30 mins

INGREDIENTS

the veg:

180g spinach

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

Juice of  1 lemon

2 sweet potatoes

1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper (or to taste)

the spiced chickpeas:

1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

1 400g tin of chickpeas; drained and rinsed

1 garlic clove, chopped finely

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/4 teaspoon salt & pepper (or to taste)

the final touches:

1 avocado, halved lengthways

a drizzle of tahini (mix with water to get desired consistency)

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C. While this oven is heating up, prep your chickpeas! Place the drained & rinsed chickpeas in a mixing bowl. Add spices and toss until evenly coated. Set aside. Chop the garlic for your sautéed spinach. Juice 1 lemon and set aside.
  2. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, pierce them with a knife, then place them in the oven on a baking tray. Leave to cook for about 25-35 mins, depending on the size of the sweet potatoes you are using. Turn halfway through.
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp oil of your choice in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the spiced chickpeas. Stir-fry for about ten minutes until they begin to brown a little and smell amazing. If they start to stick to the pan, add a little water and reduce heat. Once nicely browned and heated through, turn off heat and set aside.
  4. Again, heat 1 Tbsp oil of your choice in a pan over low-to-medium heat. Add spinach, chopped garlic, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until spinach has wilted and garlic is soft.
  5. Remove sweet potatoes from oven. Half lengthways, and then cut into bitesize chunks.
  6. Get 2 nice big bowls and fill them each with  sweet potatoes, sautéed spinach and spiced chickpeas.
  7. Place sliced avocado halves on top of other ingredients and drizzle a little tahini over everything.