Spelt Spaghetti With Loaded Veg, Garlic, Lemon, Chilli and Sesame Seeds

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After a very long and exhausting week my body felt tired and drained definitely in need of a fully loaded  veggie meal packed with all the good stuff to refuel myself. Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage are all super charge veggies. Spelt pasta is low gi and better for digestion. When  I feel like pasta I opt for this kind. Throw them together in a hot pan with some basic flavours of garlic, fresh chilli and lemon tossed through with some sesame and olive oil, yum just what the doctor ordered!

Spelt Spaghetti with Loaded Veg, Garlic, Chilli and Sesame Seeds

  • Servings: 4
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A vegan pasta dish that's full of veggie goodness

Ingredients

250g spelt spaghetti

1/2 onion diced

2 garlic cloves crushed

1 chilli sliced

1 tb olive oil

6-8 brussel sprouts shredded

1/4 cauliflower cut into florets

1 bunch broccolini chopped

1/4 red cabbage shredded

1 zucchini spiralised or sliced

handful basil leaves chopped

grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

1 tb sesame oil

salt and pepper

1 tb sesame seeds

Directions

  1. Boil water in a large pot and cook spaghetti per pack instructions
  2. In a large fry pan heat olive oil, add garlic, chilli and grated lemon rind cook for 1-2 mins
  3. Add veggies and basil to the pan and saute for 5-7 mins
  4. Add lemon juice and sesame oil and season with salt and pepper
  5. Once the pasta is cooked drain remaining just a little of the water in the pot add the pasta to the pan and mix through
  6. Drizzle with the extra olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds

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Yellow Dahl with Spinach & Homemade Naan Bread

 

For Indian food beginners Lentil Dahl is a great place to start. It’s uncomplicated requires little ingredients, one pot and a few spices. Lentils are a great source of protein and dietary fibre which makes Dahl a nutritious fulfilling vegetarian dish.

Dahl is made from pulses usually lentils that are split and stewed with spices. Turmeric is added which gives its yellow colour but more importantly Turmeric is an excellent anti-inflammatory and has had proven links in preventing and reducing the production of cancer cells. Big tick √

This is a basic recipe and can be adjusted to your liking. Some recipes also add extra vegetables in the stewing process along with chopped tomatoes. I have added some baby spinach for added greens and sliced green chilli for heat but feel free to experiment.

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Basic Dahl

  • Servings: 4 or 6 with Basmati rice
  • Difficulty: easy
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A easy Indian Dish that is protein packed and great for vegetarians

Ingredients

1 tb EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)

1 diced onion

2 cloves garlic crushed

1 tsp turmeric

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp chilli powder (optional)

1-2 tsp  grated fresh ginger

3 cups water or vegetable stock

1 cup rinsed red lentils

1 cup baby spinach leaves

sliced green chillies to garnish

Salt and Pepper

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan add EVOO and onion and saute’ for 1 minute.
  2. Add garlic, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, chilli powder, ginger, and saute’ for 2 minutes until onions are soft and spices are aromatic
  3. Add water/stock and lentils stir and bring to the boil
  4. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and with lid on simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir through baby spinach and serve with sliced chilli and Naan Bread

Naan is a flat bread and is a staple in Indian cuisine. It is used to scoop up curries and stews, can also be stuffed with meat or salads and has many different variations depending on where you are from. I have used a basic Indian Naan recipe with a few healthier alternatives, I have replaced all-purpose white flour with wholemeal spelt flour also traditionally is lightly brushed with butter once cooked, I did omit this to keep the saturated fat low. Some other variations from different countries including Burma, Pakistan, Turkey, Iran to name a few have their own versions which are spread with garlic, added sesame seeds, nuts or raisins, cumin seeds, or even cheese more like a pizza.

Nothing beats homemade Naan bread and surprisingly its a lot easier than you think. Store bought most often contain preservatives and additives for pro longed shelf life which I avoid so if you have a little extra time make it yourself. It took me 5-10  mins to prepare, leave  it to rest while you put the Dahl on. I left it, picked up the kids from school and the dough was ready to pan cook.

 

Really is worth the extra time of prepping to have this soft, fresh bread to scoop up the aromatic spicy lentils. Indian at home couldn’t get more easier.

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Spelt Naan Bread

  • Servings: makes 5 flat breads
  • Difficulty: easy/moderate
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Basic homemade Indian Naan bread perfect accompaniment to curries, stews and other Indian dishes

Ingredients

1 tsp instant dry yeast

3/4 cup warm water

1 tsp stevia  or sweetener of choice (optional)

2 cups wholemeal spelt flour (you can use all-purpose plain flour)

1 tsp Himalayan sea salt

3 tbsp plain natural yoghurt

2 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil

optional 2tb melted butter for brushing on finished naan

Directions

  1. In a small bowl add the yeast and warm water whisk together set a side for a few minutes to dissolve and starts to activate.
  2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl mix together the flour, stevia and salt set aside
  3. Add yoghurt and olive oil to the yeast mixture and whisk to combine, Pour into the flour and mix through with a fork.
  4. The dough should be sticky and when it comes together turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently bring into a ball do not over work.
  5. lightly oil a clean bowl and place the dough inside, cover with cling wrap or a clean tea towel and place in a warm place to rise. I like somewhere near my oven if it’s on or near a window where the sun drifts in.
  6. Leave it for at least an hour if not more the warmer it is the quicker it will rise. It should double in size. Don’t worry if it doesn’t exactly double.
  7. Turn it again onto a floured surface and cut with a butter knife into 5 pieces
  8. Roll each piece into round flats
  9. Heat a heavy non stick based fry pan on high heat to start, place one round into the pan and spread out a little with your fingers being careful not to make holes. Cook for 1-2min until the bottom is golden and has some black char marks on them. Flip and cook for further 1-2mins. You may need to turn the heat down to medium if cooking too quickly.
  10. Repeat with remaining dough
  11. This is where you can brush with melted butter
  12. Serve warm or cold with your favourite Indian dishes

 

 

 

 

 

Spelt Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto

Broccoli and Pasta are my kids two favourite things so putting them together is always a safe bet. They love it and its super simple to make, can prepare the pesto beforehand and leave it in the fridge so in less than 10mins you have dinner on the table when afternoon madness kicks in. Not to mention its appetizing for us adults too!

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Spelt Spaghetti with Broccoli Pesto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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A simple, quick family pasta that the whole family can enjoy

Ingredients

1 packet spelt spaghetti

Pesto

1 head of broccoli stalk removed and cut into florets

1 garlic clove

1/4 cup pinenuts

1/3 cup basil leaves

1/3 cup grated parmesan

Juice of 1/2 lemon

3tbs olive oil

salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Make pesto, boil broccoli in a small saucepan of boiling water for 5-7 minutes until tender, drain water
  2. Place broccoli, garlic, pinenuts, basil, parmesan and lemon juice in a food processor and blitz till smooth
  3. Add olive oil while pulsing till well combined
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Boil water for pasta, cook per packet instructions
  6. Once cooked drain reserving a little of the water with the pasta
  7. Stir through broccoli pesto as much as you like, any left over place in an airtight jar and keep in the fridge.

Pesto is also great on slices of bread, as a dip or used for other meals.

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Sugar-Free Take On Carrot Cake

Did someone say cake? Everyone enjoys a decadent piece of cake on occasion, And just because you lead a healthy lifestyle doesn’t mean you should go without.

While a large amount of cakes usually contain high quantities refined sugar, there is some that can be altered. I’ve been recipe testing all my old baking recipes, altering them making them refined sugar-free and this one was a definite winner, even better than the original in my opinion.

Everything in moderation of course just because its ‘sugar free’ doesn’t mean you can consume half a cake in one day like a impulsive sweet tooth, rather enjoy a piece like you would of in the past. Relax, Pop the kettle on, invite your friends over & enjoy!

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

  • Difficulty: fairly easy
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Sugar-free take on Carrot Cake

Ingredients

2/3 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup rice malt syrup

6 dates chopped

2 eggs

2 cups grated carrots (around 2 large)

2/3 cup walnuts roughly chopped reserving some to decorate 

1 1/2 cup spelt flour (or plain wholemeal)

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp all spice

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp ginger

Cream Cheese Icing

250g Cream Cheese roughly chopped

1/3 cup rice malt syrup

1 tsp vanilla extract

125g butter softened roughly chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 160’c fan forced / 180’c conventional
  2. Grease a 20cm cake tin or line with baking paper (if using a larger tin you will need to shorten the baking time check with a skewer after 45mins)
  3. Soak dates in boiling water set aside
  4. In a large bowl beat oil, rice malt syrup and eggs with an electric mixer for 5 mins
  5. Discard water from dates and add to bowl, mix again for 1 min
  6. Add grated carrot and walnuts
  7. Sift flour, baking powder then add all spice, cinnamon, ginger and gently mix until well combined
  8. Pour cake mix into prepared tin and bake for 1 hour
  9. Once cake has cooled prepare icing
  10. Beat together cream cheese, rice malt, vanilla and butter for 5 minutes until light and fluffy
  11. Cut Cake in half horizontally and separate halves
  12. Spread half the cream cheese icing on bottom cut half then replace the top cake half
  13. Spread remaining icing on the top of cake
  14. Decorate with extra walnuts and  sprinkle of cinnamon

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