CHICKEN AND VEGETABLE PIE WITH A SPELT CRUST

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Pie. I love all kinds of pie, but I’ve been looking for a way to make it a little bit healthier. It’s actually a great vehicle for all kinds of vegetables and fillings but the traditional crust doesn’t add a lot of nutritional value! I’ve used a super simple spelt and olive oil pastry here. I find it’s best if you pre cook the crust, it doesn’t rise much so there is no need to weigh it down. You don’t have to pre cook it but it tends to disintegrate a bit if you don’t! This filling is also great with mushrooms instead of potato if you want to cut down on the starch, but I love potatoes and my boyfriend hates mushrooms (he’s pathological about it, crazy man) so this is the version i went with. The kabana sausage is also completely optional, it adds a lovely smoky flavour.

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MUSHROOM, PEA AND SPINACH RISOTTO

Risotto is severely under rated, I promise it is more than ‘wet rice’ or ‘savoury porridge’ (although The Katering Show‘s episode about this is a hilarious must watch for any foodie, as are all their episodes ). Once you’ve made it a few times it also becomes pretty easy and you can totally multitask and don’t need to spend the whole time laboriously stirring the pot! The other thing they have going for them is that you can make an impressive meal for very little money. And I’m a teacher so being frugal is kind of important haha. The below recipe is for a basic mushroom risotto with spinach and peas. I’ve added thyme and sage as these are lovely with mushrooms, and lemon as this is so good with the peas. You could add chicken as well! Get stirring…

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‘POPCORN’ CAULIFLOWER FLORETS WITH YOGHURT, FETA AND BASIL SAUCE

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WARNING: these are very addictive, I almost ate a whole head of cauliflower by myself and that amount of cauli would do bad bad things to me… a narrow escape… Very narrow, I kept moving them further and further away from me and eating more each time I moved them. Idiot.

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ZUCCHINI, PEA AND MINT SALAD

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This salad tastes like summer. Eat it by itself. Eat it with a vegetable gallette. Eat it with barbecued lamb or chicken or fish or steak. Mix it with pasta. Just do yourself a favour and eat it. It’s super quick and simple to make, tastes great and looks pretty. It’s also full of stuff that’s good for you. Green stuff, good fats, great things. So stop reading these words and skip down to the recipe.

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KALE, LENTIL AND POMEGRANATE SALAD

For me, summer means salad and BBQs and this salad is delicious with barbecued anything! It has great flavours and textures and is full of a variety of nutrient dense ingredients. I think kale has such fantastic flavour and texture when it’s treated correctly… but sometimes big undressed pieces of it can seem grassy or have a bit too much bite. Whenever I use it raw in a salad I like to roughly shred it and allow it to soak up flavour, it keeps its great texture still but doesn’t over power other ingredients. The lentils and quinoa keep mean that it works as a whole meal as well as in smaller portions as a side.

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MIDDLE EASTERN INSPIRED BBQ CHICKEN

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I am by no means claiming that this is a traditional middle eastern dish but it was those flavours I was thinking of when I came up with this. This is super easy to do, and full of flavour. You can get your butcher to butterfly the chicken for you or do it yourself (it’s really easy to do and you can always find a tutorial online!). I have also cooked this in the oven and it works just fine, but you don’t get the smoky char of course! Delicious served with the KALE, LENTIL AND POMEGRANATE SALAD 😉

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AVOCADO AND FETA MASH

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Avocado. Maybe the most posted food item on my Instagram feed. Thus I figured it was time to have a post dedicated to one of my favourite breakfast sides, this tangy fresh and delicious avocado and feta mash. I almost wasn’t going to bother as it’s so simple but it’s so good so here we are. It’s great just with crackers or as part of a big shared brunch spread or just smeared on to your toast… maybe with an egg on top! If you’re not a coriander fan you could replace with either basil, mint or flat leaf parsley. The lemon can be replaced with lime and sometimes i put a clove of garlic or a pinch of paprika or cumin in to change the flavour profile depending on what I’m serving it with. But this is the basic recipe. This makes enough for 4-6 pieces of toasts depending on how generous you’re feeling!

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ZUCCHINI NOODLES (COURGETTI) THREE WAYS

Mushroom and Kale Stir fried Zucchini noodles
Mushroom and Kale Stir fried Zucchini noodles

I love pasta and stir fry. I also love vegetables and try to get as many of them in my diet as possible and a vegetable spiralizer is a fabulous way of doing this. The below recipes are some of my favourite ways to eat ‘zucchini noodles’ or ‘courgetti’ or spiralized zucchini if we’re going to be all honest about what food really is 😉

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COCONUT POACHED CHICKEN SALAD WITH BLACK VINEGAR DRESSING

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Summer has hit Melbourne and I’m in the mood for salads and asian flavours. This dish combines those things. It packs a punch and feel free to adjust the chilli to your liking (i use the seeds as I’m a fiend but discarding them is always an option).

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OVERNIGHT SPELT WAFFLES

Vanilla waffle with orange, shaved coconut sugar, organic plain youghurt, chocolate syrup.
Vanilla waffle with orange, shaved coconut sugar, organic plain youghurt, chocolate syrup.

This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has just read the above title. But it is always best to be upfront about these things. Here it goes: you need to start this recipe a day ahead. Maybe a few hours would be fine… but I haven’t tried that! It is so worth it though. The flavour develops so much more and makes for delicious, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside waffles. What could be better?

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