Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips

 

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One thing I have been mad about lately is the spice turmeric. There has been a lot of chat about this golden spice in recent times for its wonderful medicinal health benefits. Even though the Indian & Asian culture has been using it to flavour and colour their curries and traditional dishes for centuries the western culture has finally caught on to the many wonderful benefits it contains including anti-inflammatory properties, cancer prevention, improves brain function, prevention of diseases such as Alzheimer’s and heart disease, helps with arthritis pain, and also has proven benefits to help against depression.

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But how do we use it? 

Well apart from the usual use in curries and indian/asian dishes I like to use it to flavour all sorts of vegetables such as baked cauliflower, pumpkin, sweet potatoes anything really it gives it a subtle spiced flavour without being too over powering. I also add a couple tablespoons to my polenta coating to make these eggplant chips and wow did  it come out delicious. You can either buy the powder  or use fresh turmeric peel it and grate a 5cm piece, warning though can no will stain your hands, chopping boards and well anything it comes in contact with so if this bothers you use kitchen gloves and be careful in the preparation.

I served them with a Turmeric Garlic Aioli and well I have to say I am now turmeric obsessed! So hopefully in the future I’ll be an elderly woman still happy, fit and active with all my heart, joints and marbles in check. This definitely fits the saying “A teaspoon a day will keep the doctor away!”

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Turmeric Spiced Polenta Eggplant Chips with Turmeric Garlic Aioli

  • Servings: 2-4
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Ingredients

1 large eggplant cut into thick chips

1 1/2 cups polenta (cornmeal)

1 tsp sweet paprika

1/2 tsp cumin

2 tsp turmeric powder or 5 cm piece fresh peeled and grated turmeric

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 eggs whisked

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’C
  2. Place Polenta and spices and seasonings in a medium bowl. Place whisked eggs in a separate bowl
  3. Coat the eggplant chips first in the egg then into the polenta mix making sure to generously coat them evenly
  4. Place eggplants on a lined baking tray drizzle with olive oil
  5. Bake in oven for 15mins then turn over and cook for further 10-15mins until golden and soft in the centre.
  6. Serve with Turmeric Garlic Aioli

Notes: Can be served as a starter or as a side with your favourite protein meat or fish.

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Speedy Weekday Dinner: Coconut Chicken Strips with Sweet Potato Fries

We all have those days where we are rushed off our feet and haven’t given a thought about what we are feeding the kids for dinner, you are not alone. And with Christmas not far away the ‘to do’ list has gotten a whole lot longer..

Well this was me today, have no fear there is quick, easy and still healthy meals that are simple to make without having to pull out the frozen nuggets or tinned spaghetti. One my kids loved is chicken tenders with homemade chips, I’m trying to mix things up and tried something new with them, I used coconut flour and desiccated coconut as a gluten-free crumbing and they loved it! “Mum what’s this, the chicken is delicious” “tastes a little sweet” were the comments from the little humans, I then proceeded to do I mental high five to myself.

Like everyone sometimes dinners are hit and miss with the kids but I always encourage to try new things and at least they give it a go. This one will be going on the repeat list.

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I served them with some steamed broccoli and some Avocado Basil Mayo that I made a day prior for another meal we had and went well with the sweet potato chips too. Quick prep, thrown in the oven and is dinner is done to get on with sorting out Christmas presents lists and end of year activities arrangements.

Gluten Free Coconut Chicken Strips with Homemade Sweet Potato Chips

  • Servings: 4
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Ingredients

Click on the link for my sweet potato recipe =   Crunchy Sweet Potato Fries

 

Chicken Strips

1/2 cup coconut flour

2 eggs whisked

1 cup desiccated coconut

2 tb coconut oil, or oil of choice

2 chicken breast sliced into strips or 500g chicken tenders

Directions

 

To make Chicken Strips:

  1. Place the coconut flour, eggs, and desiccated coconut into three separate bowls.
  2. Dip chicken strips into flour mix , coat well then into the egg mix, followed by the coconut. Repeat with all remaining chicken
  3. Place on a lined baking tray and coat in the coconut oil or oil of choice, bake in the oven for 30mins turning over half way.

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Sun, Surf and Fish & Chips

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Summer is coming and when I think of summer I think of sunny days, sandy beaches, picnics and Fish and Chips. We are so fortunate to live on the Gold Coast here in Australia where it is only the middle of Spring and can already enjoy the backyard pool and local beaches. We are quite spoilt in that respect and there is no denying the kids love it and makes for great family time.

Most Fish & Chips are not the healthiest let’s be honest, deep-fried batter and greasy chips whilst if we are out we may opt for the quick takeout but thought I’d share my homemade version which is oven baked and a whole lot less greasy contains less saturated fats and has a gluten-free crumb. Takes hardly no time and while its baking you can still enjoy the outdoors at home. Grab a beach towel and relax by the pool or picnic rug in your backyard and enjoy the great weather that we have been so blessed with.

Oven Baked Fish and Chips

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

4 Sebago potatoes or other floury variety peeled and cut into thick chips

1 tbs olive oil

Salt

4 pieces firm fish fillets cut into small fish finger pieces or can be left whole

3 eggs

1 cup polenta (cornmeal)

1 cup rice flour or other gluten-free flour eg. quinoa, buckwheat or coconut flours

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tb olive oil or coconut oil

lemon wedges to serve

Homemade Tartare Sauce

1/2 cup organic mayonnaise or natural yoghurt

1 tsp lemon rind

1 tsp capers finely chopped

2 gherkins finely chopped

1 tb flat leaf parsley finely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 200’c
  2. Prepare potatoes and toss in olive oil and season with salt (you can add some thyme or chilli salt if you desire)
  3. Place potatoes on a lined baking tray set a side
  4. In a bowl place eggs and gently whisk set aside
  5. In another bowl place polenta, flour, garlic powder and salt and pepper and mix to combine set a side
  6. Prepare fish and coat in egg wash mix then coat pieces in polenta mix
  7. Lay on a lined baking tray and repeat with all the fish pieces
  8. Coat the fish evenly with the olive oil
  9. Bake both the chips and the fish in the oven for 15mins, chips may need an extra 5 mins until golden and crunchy
  10. Serve with a homemade tartare sauce and generous squeeze of lemon

Make The Switch

Love Potatoes? Making the switch from ordinary white potatoes to sweet potatoes (kumera) is definitely a favourable move.

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A which is what gives our skin a healthy glow. Can help with acne and overall skin health and vitality, also plays a vital role in our immune system to fight of bacteria. Has a very good source of vitamin C and many other vitamins and minerals needed to assist in healthy body functioning.

Now we have know why we should be eating them, how do we cook them? Easy as you would normally enjoy potatoes. Boil, Roast, Bake or Mash. You can add to soups, salads, risottos, or my kids favourite make as chips. One of my favourites is baked, stuffed with delicious fillings.

 

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To make Sweet Potato Chips:

+Peel and slice sweet potatoes into thin or thick strips depending on how you like them.

+Toss with some olive oil, season with salt and pepper and some paprika (can omit paprika if you prefer)

+Line them out on a tray and bake in a hot oven 200’c for 20-30mins turning them half way through cooking. If you are making thicker you will need a longer cooking time 45-50mins.

 

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To make Baked Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: 

+Prick sweet potatoes with a fork all over and place on a baking tray

+Bake in a hot oven 200’c for 1 hour

+With a knife slice open down the middle of the potato, add filling of choice such as chilli beans,savoury mince, coleslaw, avocado, cheese, natural yoghurt, coriander, kale to name a few.